Norwich City boss Alex Neil has completely dismissed the thoughts of Alan Pardew after the Eagles’ gaffer spoke of the potentially “intimidating” atmosphere that is likely to greet the Canaries at Selhurst Park this afternoon.
With Palace having gone close to four months without a Premier League victory, Pardew has been doing his level best to energise the home supporters ahead of Norwich’s visit, drawing upon the well documented noise we as fans have made when the pressure has been on in years gone by, but Neil, whose side come into the fixture off the back of two consecutive wins, believes that the Selhurst Park crowd will have no impact on his players whatsoever.
It may simply be a form of posturing on the part of the Scot, who is no doubt desperate to maintain the wave of momentum that his players have managed to generate in recent weeks, but in completely dismissing the importance we as the home crowd play on the balance of the tie, he is playing a dangerous game.
There are few clubs across the country who could see their team go as long as we have without a league win and still remain fully united behind the players who are chosen to represent us from week to week, which is a testament to the spirit we as a fan-base have always prided ourselves on. Now, with an expectation placed at our feet by the manager and players alike, you can be almost certain of universal backing from the stands as soon as the whistle blows this afternoon.
No one can be sure of how today’s game will play out, given the inevitable jitters from both sets of players, but we can certainly hope that Alex Neil’s dismissive tone in the build-up to our meeting will come back to bite him by the time the referee brings proceedings to a close.