Alex Neil unveils plans for a Norwich City summer clear out
PUBLISHED: 15:31 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:09 10 March 2017
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Alex Neil insists he is the right man to oversee a Carrow Road cull to halt Norwich City's declining fortunes.
Neil aims to stay at the helm to plot a major close-season makeover after revealing at Colney on Friday the planning for a huge overhaul of the playing squad is well underway.
The Scot also outlined he is under no financial pressure to sell his best talent this coming summer.
“We don’t need to move players on in terms of the finances,” he said. “We did a lot of good work in the January window in terms of recouping money so we have put the club in a financially sound position and I expect come the summer we will be in a stronger position in that regard than probably we have had of late. There is no pressure on me to sell players for financial reasons.
“I said when Martin Olsson was sold in January that allowed us not to be in that position and we are well beyond that now. In terms of belt-tightening you are not going to splurge a lot of money on huge transfer fees and huge wages but what you are going to do is the money that is wastage now - in terms of lads here who are not contributing - they are going to naturally leave the club and we can re-invest that money on guys who will be on the pitch.”
City host Blackburn in the Championship on Saturday and Neil reiterated both the management and those under his command are now playing to be part of the club’s future.
“That is where we are at. I spoke about a transitional phase prior to Sheffield Wednesday. We don’t want to be a ‘yo yo’ club and that, at times, means you have to have a clear-out to a certain extent to make sure we freshen the squad up,” he said. “We have a lot of lads who have been here a long time and I am not saying it is going to be all those guys who are leaving. That is not the case but we need to freshen up the squad and do it as soon as we can. There are guys who have been here for the two years of my spell who could have actively moved in any of four or five windows I have been involved in.
“They haven’t been playing and we were happy for them to leave the club but ultimately they have stayed here. We would have let them go but they have not got the moves they wanted. 100pc those players will move on this summer and that gives us a clean slate.
“The one thing about me and all my players in the majority of cases, and there will always be a grey area with one or two players because you are not quite sure where they sit or what we are going to do depending on certain things, I would say for 95pc of my players we are crystal clear on where we are going forward.”
That clarity applies to Neil’s own position, with the Scot coming under fire again in recent games from disgruntled supporters.
“100pc I believe I can take this on and do what is required,” he said. “The fact is I believe I am the best-placed person to make decisions on the players that are here. I know how people behave, what they contribute and if someone comes in it is quite easy for a player to raise his game for eight or nine games, maybe he gets a new contract, and then the merry-go-round continues.
“The fact is there needs to be a cut-off point and I am best-placed to drive that process. Absolutely no questions. I have no doubt in my mind about that. I have the utmost respect for Delia and Michael, who I have been really close to since I came here, and I will do everything in my power to make sure we turn things around and re-pay them, in particular, to move things forward and make things better.
“Whether it was me or anyone else, the club is more important than any one person. If the board feel I am not the right person to lead it then that is the board’s prerogative. What I would say is in my position, knowing all the inner workings, I am the best person to lead that forward. Recent results wouldn’t suggest that but in my opinion it will get better.”