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Norwich City chief executive David McNally hails Alex Neil as Scotland’s finest

David McNally is confident Norwich City have made the right appointment in Alex Neil. 

Picture: James Bass

David McNally is confident Norwich City have made the right appointment in Alex Neil. Picture: James Bass

Norwich City chief executive David McNally is convinced Alex Neil’s meteoric rise will continue at Carrow Road.

McNally revealed the 33-year-old was the unanimous choice of the club’s board once Neil Adams resigned after his impressive progress at Hamilton Academical.

“I have to say Alex’s reputation in Scotland is as good as anybody,” he said. “I was aware of him as a player and we monitor lots of managers so we were very impressed from the start with his work at Hamilton up against some huge football clubs in a football-mad country. We knew his record and it is exemplary. For me Alex has two years managerial experience but over the last six months he has been hugely impressive and successful, almost faultless.

“We look at four things when we go to recruit a manager - knowledge, skill, experience and attitude. Yes, we had a long list of people, we whittled that down to a shortlist and unanimously Alex was the number one, the first choice. We wanted someone who was young, hungry, gritty, professional and honest, someone with a winning track record and a winning mentality, someone with great man-management skills and a leader.”

Neil has signed a rolling one-year contract at Carrow Road after City agreed a compensation package with the Accies. McNally made it clear Norwich were not liable to pay a transfer fee although Neil is still eligible to play.

“It’s a one year rolling contract and that is consistent with a number of managers we have had here in the recent past. It’s pretty normal in football now,” he said, with Hamilton also set to visit Carrow Road this summer for a friendly as part of the deal. “There wasn’t any transfer fee and I say that with the greatest of respect. Alex will register as a player but compensation was about him joining us as a football manager. It is no secret that we have also factored in Frankie (McAvoy) joining us as well and it’s the complete package. Hamilton have done really well on the field recently and they were tough off the field so it was a tricky couple of days. We got there in the end.”

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