Alex Neil is ready to party after leading Norwich City to the Premier League
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil plans to savour Norwich City's Championship play-off final 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at Wembley before plotting the club's Premier League assault.
Neil clinched a second consecutive promotion after guiding Hamilton to the Scottish top flight 12 months to the day the Canaries eased past Boro.
Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond struck in the first half in a polished display by Neil's men in front of 39,500 travelling supporters.
Russell Martin lifted the play-off trophy before majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones joined the celebrations on the pitch at the final whistle.
'I'm going to get a couple of beers and see my family and then look forward to heading off on holiday later this week,' he said. 'The goal was to gain promotion. We aimed for automatic. It was difficult but we got close. Than it was important that we remained focused. Felt the squad we had was a strong as anyone. Esp in one-off games like this, I thought the big players rose to the occasion and made the difference.
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'One thing we were criticised for in the last game was a slow start. We knew how important the first goal was.
'I don't look back. People have made a lot of the last year. But it's not a huge concern to me. I set goals, like setting promotion. I'm really determined to achieve those goals. I don't get overawed by anyone or any place.
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'I'm not silly. I know how big the task is. We'll be one of the smallest clubs going into the PL. But clubs of similar size do OK. I did it with Hamilton. Our job is to compete.
'My biggest challenge is going to be expectation. That's my biggest challenge. Two years, back to back promotions. People will expect us to do well in the Premier League but it's extremely difficult. The gulf between the Championship and the Premier League is vast. You can see that. But teams go up and do it.
'I'm pleased for everyone else. The thing that drives me is letting people down. Fact that Norwich showed faith in me, giving me the job, being so young. I'm pleased I've made everybody happy means more than anything else. Making sure my family is there enjoying the day. The last thing I'd want to do is lose and go home with my kids crying.
'The next couple of days will be busy. It's been a long two seasons for me and the play-offs is another three weeks. I'm just here to do as well as can to make us as good as can be.'