Prove you want to be part of Norwich City’s future, Alex Neil warns his under-performing squad
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Alex Neil is warning his under-performing Norwich City squad to prove they want to be part of the future at Carrow Road.
The Canaries face Bristol City on Tuesday at Ashton Gate fresh from a humiliating 5-1 Championship defeat at Sheffield Wednesday that sparked a bitter fallout. Neil insists City must fight on in the remaining 11 league games ahead of what is likely to be a massive summer overhaul.
'It is a big job. It has always been a big job,' he said. 'When you come down it is really difficult to change momentum and mindsets. You have to make sure that hunger and desire and all those qualities vital at this level are at their optimum levels. If they are not then it is a big problem. We are at a stage where we have to perform now to ensure we have longevity at this football club.
'I have already spoken about the fact we have an ageing squad. I spoke about it last year and this year. If you are an older player and you play well you retain your stock. If you stop winning there are consequences. We have a lot of older players who have to show they are still up to the task.
'We have been recruiting younger players and now you have a phase that could get a little bit messy, where decisions have to be made. There is going to be some sort of fallout in the summer. You can't have the season we have had and expect it to wash over us. That is not going to be acceptable. We have 11 games left, we are trying to do our bit to show we want to be a part of it.'
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Neil conceded his faith in the old guard may have been misplaced.
'I felt the guys I had at my disposal were better equipped to take us back into the Premier League. Looking at it with hindsight I wasn't right because we are not in that situation,' he said. 'People will now say we should have started a rebuilding job last summer. Equally, everyone was happy I managed to retain as much of the squad as possible because in my opinion it gave us the best opportunity to get back to the Premier League.
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'Before last weekend I wouldn't have given that too much thought, over and above the normal plans that are on-going. Have I got half an eye on it? The answer is yes. But we have more important things at hand. If we go on a decent run, which we are capable of, you never know where we are in seven games time.'