Blackburn Rovers’ chief Tony Mowbray admits surprise at manner of Alex Neil’s Norwich City exit

Tony Mowbray was taken aback by the timing of Alex Neil’s dismissal on the eve of Blackburn’s 2-2 Championship draw at Norwich City.

The former Ipswich stalwart admitted it came as a shock after being on the end of two heavy maulings at Carrow Road earlier this season with his former club, Coventry City.

“I was hugely surprised because it was just as we were going in for dinner at the hotel and it ran across the bottom of the screen on Sky,” he said. “Listen I don’t know the politics or the feeling or whether the heat was on. It seemed strange not to do it after the last performance or result to give whether it was Alan (Irvine) or whoever some preparation time. Being away from the area I was not aware of it but I know they have a fantastic squad. I came here with Coventry twice at the start of this season and they were really confident and flying and playing lovely football.

“For whatever reason that appears to have been more difficult to find but they have some wonderfully talented individuals. By most people’s admission they should be higher up the league. I don’t know the reasons why.

“Being in football management for 14 years I know you live and die by results and the expectation at the football club. Whether it is to survive or get promotion or build a team that can compete at the top end. You have to match that expectation. I would imagine here the expectation is to challenge for promotion and go straight back.”