One downside to Norwich City’s Premier League elevation

Norwich City boss Alex Neil salutes the fans at Wembley after guiding the Canaries to the Premier Le

Norwich City boss Alex Neil salutes the fans at Wembley after guiding the Canaries to the Premier League. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Archant

The one downside to Norwich City's Championship promotion success is the secret is now out about Alex Neil.

The 33-year-old's remarkable impact since replacing Neil Adams in January earned his club a shot at the Premier League, 12 months after relegation, and catapulted the unassuming Scot firmly into the public eye.

Neil's second consecutive promotion, after repeating the feat he achieved at Hamilton, ensures his stock will continue to rise.

'He is famous now,' said City chief executive David McNally, speaking on Tuesday before the club left their Wembley base to return to Norfolk. 'We are thrilled he is our football manager and we will work with him for as long as possible to make sure that continues. We want it to be a long-term project. As far as Alex is concerned if other clubs are interested in him I think that's a quality problem to have, I'd rather have other clubs interested in our players and our manager because that means we're doing something right, that means we must be winning football matches.

'He is a young, hungry, bright coach. Tactically and technically he is very good but to cap it all he is a great man-manager and most of all a fantastic leader. He demonstrates those leadership skills on a daily basis.

'The reason we won the game (on Monday) was down to the meticulous preparation and the game plan he put in place and of course the way the players carried out his instructions and put that plan into action. He is terrific and we are very pleased he is our manager.'

The City boss was able to extract the maximum from the talent he found at his disposal after bringing in only Graham Dorrans on loan and Tony Andreu from his old club on transfer deadline day, with the French midfielder used sparingly over the run-in.

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'The ability to galvanise a squad he inherited was truly remarkable,' said McNally. 'I think most would agree he inherited a really good squad with good players and I would also like to pay tribute to Neil Adams.

'If Neil hadn't put us in that position to challenge we wouldn't be celebrating promotion. Compared to the other teams who were relegated we had a good first half to the year and let us not forget it is tough to bounce back at the first time of asking.'

The Canaries' former FA Youth Cup winning coach has taken a break from management since his exit but McNally confirmed yesterday there could still be a future role for him at his old club.

'Neil is a top football man,' he said. 'A very bright guy and Norwich City is his club so we will be sitting down shortly with him to work out what is best for us and also for Neil.'

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