Keep the faith: Ex-striker Dean Ashton urges Norwich City fans to stick by Alex Neil

All eyes are on Alex Neil. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON

All eyes are on Alex Neil. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Dean Ashton insists Norwich City's fans will achieve nothing positive if they turn against manager Alex Neil.

The Canaries have slipped into the Premier League relegation zone after a miserable run of five defeats in a row. And the former City striker insists that sense of gloom will only deepen if City's fans do not give the Scot, and his players, their backing during Saturday's home clash against West Ham.

Ashton, who went down with City in 2005, said: 'There's no point in anybody wallowing. When you're battling relegation you know you have to somehow get over the defeats as quickly as you can and move onto the next game because it could be the one which provides the win which lifts confidence.

'Tottenham was a good example of what can happen (during a bad run). The players had to do more in terms of their performance on the night and by doing their jobs, they'd have got people on side. In the same breath, fans are also there to support.

'Calling for the manager to be sacked is something I don't see the point in though. Fans have got to try and look at the positives. It's a winnable game on Saturday and if Norwich play as well as they can, and have done, they could find themselves out of the relegation zone.'

Ashton, who also played for West Ham before he retired in 2009 after failing to recover from a long-term ankle injury, admits Saturday's defeat to Aston Villa side did little to dampen Neil's fiercest critics.

'I think everyone knew it was going to be a very, very tough season,' added the former England hitman.

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'Staying in the Premier League is still the goal. Alex Neil has done very, very well since he's come in and things can change very quickly and look different with a good result or two. As soon as you go below the dotted line it feels like the pressure gets on top of everyone. Norwich have lost to some good teams but losing to Villa probably hurt the most.'