Norwich City’s Championship tailspin will not break Alex Neil

Norwich City manager Alex Neil.

Norwich City manager Alex Neil. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil had to endure a bruising annual meeting earlier this week and the City boss made it clear on Friday he is unhappy at the tone of some of the media coverage around him ahead of Saturday's Championship trip to Derby County.

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'I have managed for three consecutive years and got two promotions and one relegation. That is a lot of stuff to put into a three-year period,' he said. 'I know this situation, I did it before and I am more than capable of doing it again. I will never quit. I will stay the course. I am as resilient as anyone you could meet.

'The criticism of the fans is justified. The one thing that happens now is certain aspects of the media write or say what they think the fans want to hear rather than what their own opinion is because people want retweets and likes and all the rest of it. I don't think that is modern-day journalism. If you have an opinion write it in a balanced way and let people make their mind up. Don't sway them into your way of thinking because I think that is wrong.

'You look at Wayne Rooney, there has been a witch hunt for about the last year for some reason towards a guy who has contributed so much to the English game. It then starts a bit of momentum and takes off. It won't affect me. I know my job and so do my players.'

Neil was publicly backed again by the club's top brass in front of shareholders earlier this week.


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'It is nice to have that public backing. I have never felt anything other than support towards me from the people above and they have tried everything they can to make my job easier,' he said. 'I get on really well with the board. I don't worry about that side of things because I have to focus on other matters. Ultimately people will make decisions on me that are out of my control so I don't waste energy on that because I can't affect it.

'I had no issues with the questions that were asked. My only concern is people ask for honesty, they want to hear what you have got to say, but when you do that and speak honestly they might pick out the bits that suit what they want to hear. We might not always agree but I could quite easily put out a bland answer that doesn't reveal anything about what I am thinking, just say 'I am the manager, I pick the team,' but I try to give an insight into why I make the decisions I do. Sometimes people who might not be there read a transcript and make up their own minds.

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'I didn't think it was a negative AGM. I thought it was honest, I thought it was fair. People had concerns and rightly so. I don't like to get into particulars about a specific player but when someone asks you a direct question about a player you feel the need to justify your decision. Then everyone can understand what I think. The one thing I will say is the players who were discussed know my opinion fully and thoughts because it is not something I haven't said to them. I am honest and upfront.'

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