Norwich City in for a bumpy Championship ride

Alex Neil is warning Norwich City to expect the toughest Championship for many years. Picture by EXP

Alex Neil is warning Norwich City to expect the toughest Championship for many years. Picture by EXPA Pictures/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: EXPA Pictures/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City boss Alex Neil is braced for a bumpy ride in the toughest Championship season for many a year.

City kick-off this weekend against Blackburn at Ewood Park with Neil looking to achieve a second consecutive promotion from the Championship. The Scot, however, does not share the theory Newcastle will prove unstoppable after an ambitious summer transfer splurge.

'Everyone was saying last year when they spent £80m or whatever it was they who would finish in the top half, and that didn't happen,' he said. 'You can't guarantee anything in football. I think there are bigger clubs this time around, in terms of Newcastle and (Aston) Villa coming down, than the last time we were in it.

'You had clubs like Middlesbrough and Watford before who had been in the league for a few years.

'From that respect this season will be more challenging for us, but other clubs should be more worried than us. The start is important because what will happen is any lingering negativity surrounding last season will quickly go away if we win games and people are coming and being entertained and players are enjoying the football.'

Neil is striving to equip City for the challenges ahead in the remaining weeks of the transfer window, after bringing in Sergi Canos and Michael McGovern. Fulahm's Ross McCormack remains a prime transfer target, following Ricky van Wolfswinkel's recent exit.

'It is a lot more complex than people think,' he said. 'It isn't just 'he isn't going to play here so shift him on,' these guys are on a lot of money, in terms of contracts, and likewise it is not easy to go and take a club's best player. When you bring in a lot of players and let boys go, the downside maybe is it takes time to get things going, but the upside is that freshness you get.'

Most Read