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Mike Phelan and Gary Holt are part of Alex Neil’s Norwich City plans

New Norwich City manager Alex Neil is backing Martin Canning to carry on his good work when his assistant (pictured left) Frankie McAvoy joins at the end of the month. Picture: SNS Group.

New Norwich City manager Alex Neil is backing Martin Canning to carry on his good work when his assistant (pictured left) Frankie McAvoy joins at the end of the month. Picture: SNS Group.

SNS Group

Alex Neil has already told Mike Phelan and Gary Holt they will play a key role in his Norwich City era.

The Canaries’ new manager confirmed the duo, who have prepared the squad for Saturday’s Championship trip to Bournemouth, do have a future at Carrow Road.

Neil also plans to bring his assistant, Frankie McAvoy, with him from Hamilton with McAvoy set to arrive at the end of January. In the meantime, Phelan and Holt will help Neil acclimatise to his new surroundings.

“I am looking forward to working with the two of them. I think we’ll do well,” he said. “The staff here at the moment will remain. I aim to add a coach, Frankie McAvoy, who was with me at Hamilton and will join us at the end of the month. Regarding anything else I have had a chat with them and reassured them I am looking forward to working with them. I think their knowledge of the place and the team will help me going forward.”

Neil and Holt went head-to-head last season before Neil’s Hamilton edged out Falkirk in the race for promotion to the Scottish Premier League. The 33-year-old also aims to tap into Phelan’s vast coaching experience at Manchester United.

“Gary Holt, I know from when he was a manager at Falkirk. I know him relatively well. We were fighting for the Championship last year,” he said. “At my age I am not going to get anybody younger than me to come in and help. Frank McAvoy is 48, I think, so that is commonplace and Mike is another who has huge experience. You look at the club he was at in terms of his coaching career and that is fantastic. He’ll certainly help me and add to what we have got.”

McAvoy has played a key role in Hamilton’s youth set-up but Neil’s right-hand man is poised to work with the Canaries’ senior squad.

“Youth development is huge, it was a huge part of Hamilton, but my main focus is the first team,” he said. “If you include Bournemouth we have 22 league games so my main focus is on that but, longer term, the youth academy and young players is what any club needs to promote and bring through as many as you possibly can. I have been involved in that for a long time, so has Frankie, but he will come down here as a first team coach along with Mike and Gary to help me get the first team playing good football and hopefully winning games.”

Neil revealed he also plans to seek out his predecessor, Neil Adams, ahead of a scheduled summer return to the club.

“I’ve got no problem working with Neil. It is a testament to him the fact that he has moved on now as manager but is prepared to come back to the club. It shows his heart is at Norwich,” said the Canaries’ boss. “He is a Norwich guy. I will probably meet Neil in due time and that is something for the summer but my focus right now is the team.”

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  • If he is bringing his assistant, then somebody must go. My guess is that it will be M Phelan. The new manager is a total novice to the English league. To have a man of Phelans experience and stature may be too much for the new man. I sincerely wish that this is the man to get us back to winning ways and promotion. But cannot wonder why the board have selected such a manager who has yet to prove himself . At this juncture , with City adrift of the top spots, perhaps the board should have shown more ambition and gone for more experience. Instead of a young manager cutting his teeth. Lets hope he can produce in the Championship. Love the Scots but their leagues are far below English standards.

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    norman hall

    Saturday, January 10, 2015

  • cant see neil wanting and needing 3 assistants,one I assume will go elsewhere.

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    Saturday, January 10, 2015

  • Sounds like a very sensible approach to me. Holt and Phelan have good experience and skills. He's right to keep them when he starts. Only time will tell if they want to stay in the future or if he wants them to. I'd guess Holty might want another crack at managing but who can tell? I wish him well. OTBC

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    Saturday, January 10, 2015

  • Stew old pal I detect a note of cynicism, where's that old up and at'em and never mind the muck and bullets.

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    Saturday, January 10, 2015

  • I can't see the system working with the continued inclusion of Phelan and Holt. Surely Neil needs to be his own man and allowed to do the job. Another thing, the board have only given him a year on year rolling contract - effectively a years contract. So they can get rid of him after a year and still have the other two on board as caretakers and effect B.

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    Saturday, January 10, 2015

  • ..... He was quick to assess the quality of Phelan and Holt , and decided they were to be kept on board!....or was that His decision and not an ultimatum....There was a time when things in life were much happens away from the public gaze these days!....What's that you say,"Just pay your money and shut up"!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Saturday, January 10, 2015

  • Sounds good.

    Report this comment

    Cornwall Canary

    Saturday, January 10, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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