English Premiership

Neil: Fans support 'humbling'

2016-05-12 12:19
Alex Neil (TEAMtalk)

Norwich - Norwich City manager Alex Neil declared that he felt humbled by the reception of the club's supporters after their relegation from the Premier League.

The Canaries beat Watford 4-2 on Wednesday thanks to two goals from Dieumerci Mbokani, one from Nathan Redmond and an own goal by Hornets defender Craig Cathcart.

But the result ended up counting for nothing as Sunderland beat Everton 3-0 to confirm that neither Norwich nor Newcastle United can now climb out of the bottom three on Sunday's final day.

That Sunderland were winning comfortably was known long before the final whistle at Carrow Road on a night when Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo scored for the visitors.

But the home fans stayed to applaud the players as well as singing Neil's name.

Whether he will still be in charge at the start of next season in the Championship remains to be seen, but the Scot was certainly moved by the acclaim he received.

"That, for me, was really, really humbling," he said.

"I feel as if I've let them down. I feel as if we've come up short as a group, as a club. For them to respond in that way, I didn't expect. I think it's really unusual. I can only thank them for that. It makes it even more difficult for me to accept that we've come up short."

Norwich are not a club known for hiring and firing managers. Neil, at 34, is one of the youngest in the profession and took them up from the second tier in his first season in charge.

But he offered no indication that he was expecting to stay.

"I'm saying there's discussions to be had with the club," he said. "The club's got to decide what road they want to go down and how they're going to go about it for next season.

"I want to sit down with the owners and have a good chat with them and see where they are. I've had nothing but support since I've been at this club. I've got absolutely no complaints.

"They've given me their utmost support. I can't grumble about any of it."

Remarkably, Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores appears more likely to find himself in need of a new job.

Watford came up with Norwich last season and never allowed themselves to become embroiled in a relegation battle.

Flores also led them to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final, where they lost to Crystal Palace, but despite a satisfying season he is expected to be replaced by club owners the Pozzo family.

"The contract is very clear," Flores said. "We need to meet, to say what is our feelings. Both parties need to decide. We chose this kind of contract and after one year it's important to share feelings."

Read more on:    norwich city  |  english premiership  |  soccer


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