Alex Neil’s mentor backs Norwich City’s switch

New Norwich City manager Alex Neil. Picture: Jeff Holmes / PA Wire

New Norwich City manager Alex Neil. Picture: Jeff Holmes / PA Wire - Credit: PA

Alex Neil's mentor Billy Reid insists Norwich City's prime target is experienced enough to handle the pressure at Carrow Road.

The 33-year-old will become the second youngest manager in the Football League if he takes over at City, but his predecessor at Hamilton has no doubts Neil is ready to take the next step in a meteoric rise.

'People will point out that he's only 33 but Garry Monk is managing in the Premier League at the age of 35, so it can be done,' said Reid. 'I don't think Alex's age will put anybody off. He's a fantastic person and I wish him all the best.

'He was my captain for eight years and I can't speak highly enough of Alex. He was a fantastic player when he worked under me and then we started him on the coaching side of things as well. I knew when I left Hamilton that the club was in good hands with Alex. He's made his mark really well and I'm sure players who have been playing under him will respect him. It will be a great opportunity for him if he decides to go for it and it's pleasing to see someone who has worked under you getting that chance.'

Reid himself was heavily touted with Premier League Swansea five years ago but opted to stay north of the border. Neil took over when he eventually left to become assistant manager at Swedish club Ostersunds.

'I don't see much Scottish football here over in Sweden but I know that Alex is doing very well at Hamilton,' said Reid, speaking to the Scottish Herald. 'He's certainly wise enough and experienced enough to make his own decision, the one that suits him.

'He's been down in English football before and played in the Championship about 200 times. So he'll know the ropes, the venues, and all that kind of thing. I don't have any worries about Alex Neil at all in the management side of things. He's always known the game as a player so it's no surprises he knows the game as a manager at all. It's a fantastic opportunity for him and I'm delighted for him.'