Alex Neil shifts the focus from his tactical prowess to Norwich City’s players
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil may have rapidly acquired a reputation for his tactical prowess but the Norwich City boss insists he is only as good as his players.
The Canaries have triumphed against potential promotion rivals Bournemouth, Wolves and Watford since his arrival but ahead of Ipswich's visit, Neil was keen to put his own role in perspective.
'My main task, my main job is to deal with the players and motivate them and prepare them on how they beat the opposition and their task is to go and carry it out,' he said. 'I just feel if I have not fully prepared my team to go into a game they are well within their rights to say we didn't know that was going to happen or that was a particular strength of the opposition.
'The team is the most important thing. It doesn't matter about me or the players. I have to pick the best team and if I rotate so-called 'big hitters' then so be it. It doesn't matter who they are. If the team is going to benefit then at times players will have to be sacrificed and that is the message that has been given out to the group. It is for the greater good because our goal is to get promoted. Whether you have played five games or 35 everybody is in the same boat.'
City hit back to beat Blackburn 2-1 in midweek for a seventh win in nine games since Neil's arrival but the Scot was unhappy at the manner of Rovers' set-piece opener as he strives to plot a sustained promotion charge.
'It was something we had highlighted, crosses and set pieces into the box,' he said. 'Something like 85pc of Blackburn's goals come from crosses in wide areas or dead ball situations so we were prepared for it but ultimately people were tasked with picking up a man and as happens in a game one player lost his man and they managed to score. The reaction was important and the boys showed a lot of heart to come back.
'My job is to win games. If I am not doing that then I am not doing my job and that goes for the players. I know it is difficult and I am not making out it is easy, but if we achieve the main goal at the end of the season and go up then I have achieved my goal. If we don't I won't be happy. I am here to get the team winning.'
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