Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Neil Adams expects to discover who is up for a Premier League survival scrap after Saturday’s trip to the dethroned champions.
"I don’t really know what the previous manager and coaches were doing here before, but what I have insisted on is hard work and 100% effort."
Ryan Giggs’ debut as Manchester United’s interim manager has predictably dominated the build-up but Adams warns City will not join in with the expected carnival atmosphere at Old Trafford.
Adams has engineered a positive uplift on a squad he inherited from Chris Hughton in battling defeats to Fulham and Liverpool which only serve to increase the urgency for league points against Giggs’ side.
“I knew the score when I came in and we had to be prepared for these games. I have demanded big characters and people who understand the gravity of the situation and what is required,” he said.
“I don’t really know what the previous manager and coaches were doing here before, but what I have insisted on is hard work and 100% effort. We have looked at games tactically and how we can have an impact on matches and whether there has been a difference is for others to make up their minds.
“Of course within that both myself and this group of players have to go out and prove it and if they are not doing that I then have to give them a reminder. After the Liverpool game the first half wasn’t good enough and we had to remind them of what was required.”
Steven Whittaker has already testified to Adams’ positive effect on the training ground and the City boss knows that is where he must get his message across.
“We demand high intensity training because having been a player I know when you have trained at 100% or near it then it becomes a habit to take into games,” he said. “If you are only at it half-pace from Monday to Friday I am not sure you can turn it off and on like a tap. If you go into games feeling you have fully prepared and you are ready for what we might face then you feel confident and content within yourself.
“What I and my staff don’t want to do is look back on a Tuesday or a Thursday or Friday and feel we should have worked a little bit harder. That won’t happen here.
“I think we did enough to win at Fulham and we made chances but we didn’t score goals. Against Liverpool we scored goals but conceded too many. What it takes to beat these teams is what we have shown. We have three huge, huge games for this football club and we can guarantee we will give everything we have got.”
Adams knows Norwich must try and absorb the Giggs’ factor on his players and the home crowd.
“He is a huge fans’ favourite and naturally there’s going to be a reaction from that. It’s something we’ve prepared for and have to be ready for,” he said. “It is 11 versus 11 once the game kicks off and we saw for the majority of the Liverpool game we are capable of dealing with top players. Manchester United have some fantastic players but we have to be able to cope with that and deal with it.”