Alex Neil needs to avoid the manager-of-the-month curse at Norwich City after being shortlisted for January award

Alex Neil and Wolves manager Paul Lambert are in the running for January's manager-of-the-month. Pi

Alex Neil and Wolves manager Paul Lambert are in the running for January's manager-of-the-month. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's Championship revival leaves Alex Neil in peril of the dreaded manager of the month curse again.

The Scot has been shortlisted for January's award, along with former Canaries' boss Paul Lambert, Jaap Stam and Neil Warnock, after picking up three league wins.

City also held Premier League side Southampton in the FA Cup before losing to a late Shane Long goal in the replay following a dire pre-festive spell.

Neil's monthly award for guiding Norwich to top spot in September sparked a prolonged downturn which leaves the Canaries with ground to make up in the play-off race. City's only blemish last month in the Championship came in a 2-1 defeat at Rotherham, when Nelson Oliveira was red-carded. Neil's men rounded off an encouraging spell by beating Lambert's Wolves at Carrow Road.

'It's obviously been a testing period but to win three league games is really pleasing. We have deservedly won them as well,' said Neil. 'I think Rotherham was a blow for us because if we had kept 11 on the pitch we would have won that one I felt and enhanced the recent record even more. The lads have seemed to find a freshness about themselves and they are playing well.'

Norwich continued in the same vein with a win at Cardiff on Saturday before Wigan Athletic pegged them back on Tuesday night in a gruelling battle at the DW Stadium.

'It has taken time for some of the players to recognise this is the Championship. We have come down from the Premier where the football is very different and it is more about technique and tactics,' said Neil, speaking prior to the Latics' draw. 'That is all about trying to counter the opposition. Sometimes it is like a game of chess whereas down here it is full throttle; a case of getting stuck in and no holds barred.

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'You have to compete and rise to the challenge or you can be beat by sheer will alone. I wouldn't say we needed a wake up call but look at someone like Timm Klose. He is really suited to the Premier League. He is a good footballer. When he came into the Championship he probably thought this is not football as I know it.'

The winner will be announced tomorrow morning.

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