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Championship Preview: Neil wants Carrow Road cauldron, Bournemouth face Wednesday

Alex Neil wants Norwich City fans to get Carrow Road “rocking” for Friday’s crunch clash with fellow Championship promotion contenders Middlesbrough.

In-form Norwich have made a charge towards an immediate return to the Premier League, losing just two of 19 games since Neil arrived at the club in January 

The East Anglia outfit are second in the table, courtesy of their superior goal difference to third-placed Watford, with three games remaining after stretching their winning run to five matches with back-to-back away victories at Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United.

Middlesbrough are only a point behind Norwich and Watford, but Aitor Karanka’s side have lost four of their last five away fixtures and Neil is determined to inflict more misery on the Teessiders by securing all three points from what could be a crucial encounter.

He told Norwich City TV: “We’ve got three (games) left and we’ve got to try and win them as well. If we do that, I’m more than confident that we’ll be in the Premier League.

“I don’t think any game is going to get any bigger than the one on Friday night. We need to make sure the place is rocking for the players, and hopefully we’ll go and give a real good account of ourselves.” 

Leaders Bournemouth remained on course for a sensational promotion to the Premier League by beating Reading 1-0 courtesy of Callum Wilson’s early goal on Tuesday.

Eddie Howe’s side hold a one-point lead at the summit ahead of the visit of a Sheffield Wednesday side that dealt a blow to Brentford’s play-off hopes by winning 1-0 at Hillsborough in midweek.

Watford were 3-1 winners at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday and face Birmingham City at Vicarage Road on Saturday, while Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town side take on his former club Wolves at Molineux in a battle between two sides pushing for a play-off spot.

Fifth-placed Derby County head to Huddersfield Town, while Brentford will attempt to respond from their setback in midweek by winning at home to Bolton Wanderers.

Wigan Athletic appear certainties for relegation and Gary Caldwell’s side could be consigned to the drop when Brighton and Hove Albion visit the DW Stadium, while Millwall head to Cardiff City seeking another three points in their battle to stay up.

Rotherham United, who are waiting to discover whether they will be docked three points for fielding an ineligible player, are not in action this weekend due to Reading’s FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Fulham are not yet out of the woods ahead of their trip to relegated Blackpool, while Nottingham Forest travel to Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic host Leeds United in two games where both sides have nothing other than pride to play for.

Thu 16 Apr, 2015
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