Norwich City boss Alex Neil was touched by his Hamilton send-off
Alex Neil is convinced his former Hamilton captain Martin Canning can build on his dynasty at New Douglas Park.
Canning has replaced the Norwich boss on an interim basis alongside Neil’s assistant Frankie McAvoy, who is poised to move to Norfolk at the end of this month.
Neil, who guided Hamilton into European contention in the SPL this season after promotion success, feels continuity is vital.
“I have already given Martin my backing. I think he should be the one Hamilton turn to,” said Neil. “The one thing Hamilton have always done is promote from within and they are in a very similar situation to mine when I took over, albeit he is two years older than me. I was 31 when I took it on. He is the captain, the players really respect him, he has a clear idea how he wants things to continue and I think he should be given that opportunity.”
Neil watched Canning’s first match in temporary charge from a city centre public house earlier this week, and the 33-year-old was touched by the warmth of his send off from Accies’ fans who unfurled a series of banners in tribute.
“It was great to see. I have been there such a long time and to get that recognition from the fans in particular was fantastic,” he said, with Neil’s old club losing 3-2 to Dundee United. “I was so proud and pleased. It was special what we achieved and it was touching for the fans to recognise that on national television.
“It was a bit surreal. I thought they would go on and win when they got it back to 2-2 and they conceded a sloppy goal. I wouldn’t have been pleased if that had happened when I was still there. Some of the players texted me after the game and I let them know my thoughts. I am desperate to win and do well and now I am desperate to do well for Norwich City.”
Canning will make the most of having the experienced McAvoy alongside him before he departs for the Canaries.
“My job in the next three weeks is to learn as much from him as I can. I’d like to know as much as he does,” he said. “I’ll work day to day and try to sponge as much off Frankie as I can. I’ve spoken to Alex plenty over the last couple of days. We’ve been best friends for years and that won’t change.”