Alex Neil reveals 'disappointment' at Norwich City sacking
PUBLISHED: 11:42 13 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 13 March 2017
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Alex Neil insists he bears no grudge to Norwich City after sharing some 'fantastic memories' with the club's owners and supporters.
Neil released a statement through the League Managers’ Association on Monday morning in his first public reaction to Friday’s surprise dismissal.
The statement reads: “It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the opportunity to manage Norwich City Football club.
“Naturally, I feel very disappointed to have lost my job. This current season has been one of transition, with the club adjusting to the consequences of relegation from the Premier League, as well as two chief executives moving on in a short space of time.
“I have worked with some great people at the club and have shared some fantastic memories with them. I will always be very proud of our achievement of winning promotion, via the play-offs at Wembley, and of having the opportunity to manage Norwich in the Premier League. I would like to thank my coaching staff for their hard work and loyalty and all the players and the staff throughout the club for their efforts on and off the pitch.
“My thanks also go to club owners, Delia and Michael, for giving me the opportunity to manage Norwich City. I wish them every success for the future and hope that the club goes on to achieve the ambitions that the dedicated city and fans deserve.
“The experience I have gained at Norwich City will be invaluable to me and I look forward to my next challenge in the game.”
Neil later appeared on Talksport, following the release of the LMA statement.
“It has been quite a strange few days,” he said. “This is the first time really since I was about 17 I have not been involved in the game. Listen, all good things come to an end and that is what happened at Norwich. I think the play-offs were going to be difficult with the league position we were in. I was still hopeful we could put a run of results together but I was leaning more towards going forward and after this season. I felt I had a lot of fight in me to see this season through. Things happen in football. I have no grievances or bitterness and I wish them every success. I am hoping to get some sun on my back and then we’ll see what happens.”
The Scot admits guiding the Canaries to Wembley play-off success in 2015 was the pinnacle.
“Norwich gave me an opportunity to manage at a really high level,” he said. “We achieved something really special by managing to overcome a big deficit of points when I went there and went up through an incredible day at Wembley. To have those type of memories and to experience that with people at the club was special to me and I am sure everyone connected to the club would have enjoyed that. That bond never gets broken and we can all look back together and be proud of the achievement.
“Regarding the future, it would have to be a club set up in the right way to allow you to achieve success. The last thing you want to do is go somewhere and have to fire fight where things are not stacked in your favour. You need to go somewhere with the full support and backing. That is what I would be looking for for my next challenge. I have two promotions on my CV in a short period of time so I know what is required to get teams up.”