Norwich City board’s loyalty in Alex Neil needs some reward over festive period

Norwich City manager Alex Neil will not give up hope of a late play-off push. Picture: Paul Chestert

Norwich City manager Alex Neil will not give up hope of a late play-off push. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Norwich City board have stuck by their man – but that loyalty needs some reward over the festive period.

Supporters are fearing the worst with trips to Reading and Brentford after City have slumped to seven defeats in their last nine games.

If Alex Neil's Canaries end up pointless from those two games then the thirst for change will reach fever pitch by the time Derby come to Carrow Road on January 2.

The Scot may have presided over one of the greatest days in the club's history at Wembley but the tide turned during the defeat against Huddersfield on Friday night.

Many supporters feel the Scot, who has taken seven points from his last 10 games, is fortunate to still be in post. Judging by the Championship managers that have lost their jobs this season, you would have to agree.

Out of the eight managers in the second tier that have been handed their P45s, only Alan Stubbs at Rotherham took fewer points in his last 10 games.

Stephen Caldwell and Paul Trollope matched Neil's record in their last 10 at Wigan and Cardiff respectively before being fired but the other five sacked managers, so far, have all had better recent records.

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Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Nigel Pearson and Roberto Di Matteo all achieved nine points in their final 10, at QPR, Derby and Aston Villa respectively.

Walter Zenga picked up 11 points in his last 10 games at Wolves and Gary Rowett 14 before being controversially sacked by Birmingham.

Given the resources at his disposal, Neil knows he desperately needs to start getting a tune out of a City squad, who were expected to be fighting for automatic promotion at the start of the season.

Neil admitted the battle for a top two place has been lost already. Two defeats over Christmas and a play-off place could also start to look a long shot.

If that happens then the City board's loyalty just might move to stretch beyond breaking point.