‘You’re going nowhere’, Alex Neil’s message to Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey

Alex Tettey scores a memorable winner for Norwich City at Manchester United. Picture: Paul Chesterto

Alex Tettey scores a memorable winner for Norwich City at Manchester United. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil has left Alex Tettey in no doubt he is a key part of Norwich City's Championship crusade.

Tettey is on course to be fit for the new season after ankle surgery ruled him out of the Canaries' Premier League relegation run-in.

City's top brass took up the option to extend the Norwegian international's contract until 2017, and Neil has made it clear to the combative midfielder how important he is to his plans.

'You're not going anywhere, that's the message I was given,' said Tettey, who is currently back in Norway with his family ahead of returning to Norfolk for pre-season. 'He (Neil) said he did not want to lose me.

'As a football player you always want to play at the highest level, but I have a contract with Norwich for one more year. For now that's what I'm focusing on. If I say anything more about it, it will only be misinterpreted. I like Norwich. I have great respect for the club.'

Tettey, speaking to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, admits watching City's top flight exit was tough following his season-ending injury and the 30-year-old is under no illusions regarding the scale of the task to return at the first attempt.

'We should have avoided relegation,' he said. 'I really struggled to accept it, but it's happened. Now we have to look forwards. It'll be a big challenge for the team and club to go up again.

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'We've done it before but now Aston Villa and Newcastle are in the same position. There are also a few teams that have played in the Championship for a long time who will try for promotion. It'll be hard but I hope we can sign some players who strengthen the team. Then we can compete against the others. I'm fit. It'll be hard to start again. I've got plenty of time to get in shape and I've got a lot of desire.'