Relegation pain will drive Norwich City on to prove the doubters wrong

John Ruddy is one of a number of Norwich City players who have been relegated twice in recent season

John Ruddy is one of a number of Norwich City players who have been relegated twice in recent seasons. Picture by Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City boss Alex Neil is ready to come out fighting after the first setback of his managerial career.

Neil admits the Canaries' relegation from the Premier League hit him hard over the early part of the summer but the 35-year-old aims to prove the doubters wrong.

'I am under no illusions this is an important season for me, for the club and we want to make sure we bounce back at the first time of asking,' he said.

'Coming down a league has not affected anyone more than it did me.

'It was a real setback for me personally and the team but that is firmly behind us. Whether you are a player, a manager or whatever when you have a setback it is how you come back that determines what you are about.

We have so many great things going for us. We have just come down from the Premier League but in my opinion we have a good enough squad to hopefully get us back there. We have a sell-out crowd every week and there isn't many better places to come and play your football.'

Nathan Redmond's club-record sale to Southampton was one of the inevitable downsides of a massive drop in revenue from exiting the big league.

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Neil said: 'He did great for me when he was here but the time was right with him having a year left on his contract and with us dropping down we had to make sure we balance the squad and it made sense for both parties. Players want to play at the highest level and if there is genuine interest and they are running into the last year of a contract you have to factor that in.

'What I would say is right through last season we were negotiating with Nathan on that front so we weren't caught short, we just didn't manage to get to a point where we could strike a deal.

'Nathan has got huge potential. He has been through spells with us when he hit a real purple patch in his game and if he can find that consistency to produce it every week then he has all the qualities to be a top player.'