Alex Neil will not ‘buckle’ leading Norwich City’s Premier League fight says Hamilton mentor

Hamilton director Ronnie MacDonald is backing Alex Neil to hold his nerve at Norwich City over the P

Hamilton director Ronnie MacDonald is backing Alex Neil to hold his nerve at Norwich City over the Premier League run-in. Picture: SNS Group - Credit: SNS Group

Norwich City may have their backs against the wall but Alex Neil will not 'buckle' under the pressure of a Premier League relegation battle, insists the man who knows him best in football.

Hamilton director Ronnie MacDonald was a key figure in Neil's Carrow Road switch and has a long-standing friendship which goes back to Neil's time as a 16-year-old trialist at Clyde.

City return to action at Arsenal this weekend in the bottom three and locked in a scrap with both Sunderland and Newcastle.

'You have the right boy to do it,' said MacDonald. 'I actually saw him on Saturday. He was up here at the stadium and he is not remotely daunted. All you can do is your best in your life and if it is not good enough you can live with that. The one thing I will say is you won't see him buckle. The great thing about wee Alex is that he really cares about his club.

'It was the same here. He feels responsible for them. I can assure you he is a 100pc guy who is not just there for the money. He wants to try and do the business for everyone, whether it is fans, directors or players. I would hope he might tell you I was his inspiration. I have been with Alex a long time. He has always been my boy. I'm not saying he is my apprentice but I have seen an Alex Neil you would not recognise now.'

MacDonald was Neil's guest at the play-off final last season and has also been a visitor to Carrow Road in recent times.

'They are certainly playing for him. You can see that. I was down at the Chelsea game and I watch as many of the games as I can,' he said. 'They have had some terrible luck, some of the goals they have let in you couldn't believe it and losing the big centre-half was a blow as well.'

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Neil can build a dynasty at Norwich - see pages 42 and 43.