Norwich City’s Alex Neil relishes proving the doubters wrong

Norwich City boss Alex Neil has handled the greater scrutiny at Carrow Road since moving from Hamilt

Norwich City boss Alex Neil has handled the greater scrutiny at Carrow Road since moving from Hamilton. Picture: EADT - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Alex Neil insists he has nothing more to prove after guiding Norwich City to within sight of a Premier League return ahead of next week's Championship play-off final against Middlesbrough at Wembley.

Neil was the surprise choice of the City top brass to replace Neil Adams in January after guiding Hamilton to third spot in the Scottish Premier League, but the 33-year-old is adamant his Carrow Road record stands up to close scrutiny.

'If I did not feel I should be here then people would sense that, and I think you can sense that is certainly not the case,' he said. 'There is a contrast, in terms of being underdog and then the favourite. My style of management is always the same, the way we play is relatively the same, and it has worked. The better the players you have at your disposal, the easier it makes your job, but you are also playing against better opposition. It is all relative.

'Of course there is a lot of expectation being the Norwich manager and on the squad. That is why I am in the game. I thrive on that type of pressure and people putting expectations on me. I have said it before what drives me is the fear of failure and of letting people down, whether it is my squad or the people who employ me or the fans. That will be always the case.'

Neil knows the job is not finished until they can edge past Boro, and the Scot is keen to avoid the mistakes of City's 1-0 home league defeat last month.

'Our whole season is going to ride on this one game. If we can be successful and win the match, then we are going to be back to where we want to be,' he said. 'If not, you are going to be back to a really hard task of getting out of the Championship. If we perform to our maximum and we are set-up properly we are capable of beating any team. We have to make sure we start well and if we do need to break them down we have that wee bit of cutting edge and quality.'