Under-pressure Alex Neil can count on the backing of Norwich City’s top brass

Steven Naismith is back in contention for the visit of Aston Villa after missing out at Barnsley wit

Steven Naismith is back in contention for the visit of Aston Villa after missing out at Barnsley with a hamstring injury. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil insists speculation on his Norwich City future will not affect him as he looks to get the Canaries' Championship season back on track ahead of this week's double header against Aston Villa and Huddersfield.

Neil is well aware one league win in the last eight has convinced many fans it is time for change at Carrow Road but the Scot insists he still has the support of the club's top brass.

'I am not naive enough to think you can continue to lose games and it is acceptable,' he said, speaking at Colney on Monday afternoon. 'Somebody at some stage is going to have to be held accountable. The fact is we are all accountable in that sense. The players have not been performing well enough and I come under scrutiny because of that. It is only natural.

'It is not my call to make any decision about my job. I have complete backing from the owners and the board and I am trying to do the job to the best of my ability. The frustrating thing is we have done it before. This set of players and me as a manager know what it takes and we put something like 17 wins out of 23 that season. We won seven out of eight this season before the tide turned and we have to stand up and be counted. We have to win games. Simple as that and that means full performances. Brentford we performed for the entire game, Barnsley was for 45 minutes. Consistency is the key and we have to do it pretty quickly.'

Neil rejected any suggestion the City players are not behind him.


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'If the boys had not reacted in the way they did at Barnsley in the second-half then perhaps you look at it and have reservations about this is not working out how we all want or I would have liked. That response just makes the first-half more frustrating because they did fight and scrap and they need to do it on a regular basis,' he said. 'Listen, I speak to the players regularly. I am not naïve to think they tell me everything to my face but the fact is they are trying and they want to do well. We have to band together, fight for each and do it for all of us. Not solely for me. The bottom line is I will be here or I won't. I don't fear for my job because if you fear and worry about something it is a hindrance. The fact is if I am not here some of the players might not be here either. They need to think about that as well.'

Alex Tettey (hip), Cameron Jerome (back), Michael McGovern (knee) and Steven Naismith (hamstring) all come back into contention for Villa's visit after missing the Barnsley weekend defeat.

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'Alex and Cameron and Michael McGovern, Steven Naismith have all done a bit of training,' said Neil. 'Louis Thompson is the only one who hasn't done any training. The lads who have trained come into consideration for Tuesday. It is not ideal but they have done a bit of training. Steven suffered a minor hamstring issue and he wasn't quite right for Barnsley. He couldn't run freely but like the others he has done a bit of training. Matt Jarvis has gone with the Under-23s, who are at Middlesbrough tonight.'

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