Norwich City’s Alex Neil is ready to mix it with the managerial elite

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat is a veteran of the game but Alex Neil is looking forward to the ch

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat is a veteran of the game but Alex Neil is looking forward to the challenge ahead of Norwich City's Premier League visit. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Norwich City boss Alex Neil is relishing the chance to take on some of the biggest managerial rivals in the game.

Neil is the youngest Premier League operator at 34, but has earned his shot at the likes of Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal after guiding the Canaries to Championship promotion. City's trip to Sunderland on Saturday sees him trying to outwit vastly-experienced Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat, who started his own managerial career in Holland when Neil was just one year old.

'He has done fantastically well and you only have that type of career if you have done well at a lot of places,' said Neil. 'I'm not sure I will be at his age, we'll wait and see. To be still going as well is a testament to him. He has done great but hopefully after this weekend he can pick things up again. I am looking forward to it.'

Neil insists there will be no inferiority complex when he faces his top flight peers.

'That is what we were striving to achieve last season, to get promoted and come up against these big names,' he said. 'They all started somewhere as well. They weren't world stars, they learnt their trade and came up through the ranks.

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'To be honest, about four years ago I wasn't thinking of going into management so there isn't one manager I would look up to now. I have my own methods and what I try to do with my players and thankfully up to now it has worked.'

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