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First Team News

Neil On Norwich Return

23 November 2017

After two years at Norwich City, manager Alex Neil returns to Carrow Road for the first time since his departure earlier this year.

The North End boss led the Canaries to promotion to the Premier League in 2015 and looking ahead to the game, Neil insists there are no hard feelings towards the club.

Speaking to iFollow PNE, the 36-year-old said: "I think naturally you're always going to look at the game because there are prior connections with the club but it doesn't mean any more than any other game in terms of points and that's the most important thing for us.

"Although we want to go there and we want to win, it's not for any other reason than the fact that we want to climb up the table."

On his time at Norwich City, the gaffer continued: "I've got great feelings towards the club, I've got no ill feeling towards the club at all. They gave me the oppportunity to come down and manage in England, I managed to get in to the Premier League and manager there for somebody so young.

"I think it showed a lot of courage from them and David McNally, who was the Chief Executive, in particualr to give me the job and I will be forever grateful for that.

"The fact is, football moves on. You don't stay anywhere forever, and the nature of football, particularly at Championship level with what is at stake, is if you don't win enough games then your position becomes under threat and that's ultimately what happened."

"I think I handled myself gracefully, I don't think there was any bitterness from me. Naturally you are always a bit disappointed and frustrated because you think that you can get it going and turn it around but the decision was made and I respect that.

"As far as I'm concerned, that's all in the past now, I've got great memories of being there and the success that we did have. I'm just looking forward to going back, seeing a few people but hopefully trying to win the game."

Despite the obvious links heading into the clash, Neil is focused on another three points for his North End side, and was pleased to see the return of a number of key players against Bristol City and is looking to build on the momentum from Tuesday night.

"I think if you take key players out of any team it's always going to be difficult. I think that has been the case for a lot of teams this season, you look at Bolton's upturn in form, they've got the likes of Ameobi, Henry and Pratley back into their side.

"You take key players out, teams are always going to suffer. The good thing is, we've started to get a couple back and we've managed to go and get a really good result off the back of that. I wouldn't say I'm surprised about that, I think I know what the majority of my best starting team is, and I think without illness or injury, I've been relatively consistent with my line ups."

Watch the full interview with Alex on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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