Alex Neil’s backing at Norwich City contrasts sharply with Gary Rowett’s ‘disgraceful’ Birmingham exit

Former Birmingham boss Gary Rowett.

Former Birmingham boss Gary Rowett. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil feels Gary Rowett's shock exit at Championship rivals Birmingham is 'disgraceful' - in sharp contrast to the support he has from Norwich City's top brass.

Rowett was replaced by Gianfranco Zola at St Andrews, after beating Ipswich 2-1 on Tuesday to move the Blues back within a point of the top six. The former Burton boss appears to have been the latest managerial casualty in a takeover by overseas investors, who have opted for the higher-profile Italian.

Neil himself came under mounting pressure during Norwich's poor Championship run, but City's majority shareholders and chief executive offered him public backing.

'It is the way the modern game is going,' said Neil. 'I don't think he merits that treatment in any shape or form. He hasn't lost his job based on what he has done or with what he has had at his disposal. I think it is disgraceful if I am being honest. They have performed really well but as always, and we speak about a lot with regard to our club, that is what a lot of people want in terms of overseas ownership and sometimes this type of thing can be a symptom of that.

'The grass is not always greener. Unquestionably for me we are in the best situation in terms of the people who run our football club, and I am talking about the owners. They have nothing but the club at heart and every decision they make is with the interests of the club. I don't think as supporters you can ask for any more than that.'

City can pick up a third win in their last four league games on Friday night against Huddersfield, to underline the Canaries is heading in the right direction.

'It turns that losing streak we have been talking about for quite a while into three wins from four and that puts a positive spin on things because that is a good ratio - but only if we win,' he said. 'There has been a whole host of things why we have found ourselves in this situation. We have lost players at times who have been important to us to how we wanted to play.

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'Jonny Howson being the prime example. He has missed a lot of the season and he allowed me to solidify my midfield. Youssouf (Mulumbu) missed a big part as well so he wasn't available. Sometimes it is difficult to go down a certain route because you don't have the tools. I have always tried to bring in technically gifted players, you can see that in our recruitment process, but you also need to have that fight and passion.'