Alex Neil is a prized catch insists Norwich City interim chief Alan Irvine

Former Norwich City manager Alex Neil is ready to get back to work. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus I

Former Norwich City manager Alex Neil is ready to get back to work. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alan Irvine insists former Norwich City manager Alex Neil will be a prized catch now he is on the market.

Neil made his first Carrow Road return as a pundit for City's 2-0 Championship win over Brighton.

Irvine has proved a steady influence since replacing Neil on an interim basis and his one-time assistant is in no doubt the Scot will be highly sought after as he looks to get back into management.

'I have not been in regular touch but we have had a few phone calls. He manages to keep me company for 50 miles or so when I am driving backwards and forwards,' said Irvine. 'He is not a 100 miles person. He doesn't talk that much, but luckily enough I have a few of them, so I get 50 miles out of Alex and then speak to someone else.

'He'll be back in it. I don't know when but it won't be too long. I don't think we'll be sitting here this time next year still saying, 'Do you think he'll get back in soon?' He'll be back in either in the next couple of months or shortly after the new season starts, once people start getting bored with the managers they have got at the time.'

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Neil has made it clear he wants another crack at the Football League after failing to repeat his Championship promotion success second time round with the Canaries.

'I'd like to basically do what I did with Norwich and try to take a club up to the Premier League,' he said. 'The horrible thing is you're waiting on someone to lose their job which is not something I'm comfortable with. I don't resent anyone at Norwich. Michael Wynn-Jones and Delia Smith were a joy to work for and I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the club. But when you don't get results, your position becomes questionable.'

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