'It makes the club look really amateurish' - Former City striker Iwan Roberts questions timing of Alex Neil sacking
PUBLISHED: 20:00 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 20:05 10 March 2017
Norwich City's players will take to the pitch against Blackburn Rovers tomorrow with "the weight off their shoulders", according to a former Canaries striker.
Iwan Roberts, who made more than 250 appearances for Norwich between 1997 and 2004, said the decision to sack Alex Neil was the right one - but accused the club of acting “like amateurs” over the timing of his dismissal.
“I was a little bit gobsmacked when I heard the news,” Iwan said.
“Having listened to what was said at the press conference where he [Alex Neil] had said what the plan was to take the club forward - that didn’t sound like a man who would be sacked a couple of hours later.
“Whether the board have heard something that shouldn’t have been said or not, I think it’s the right decision. He has been given enough time to turn things around and it doesn’t look like he’s capable of changing that.”
But Iwan questioned the timing of the decision to sack Neil and said City now look “really amateurish”.
“What has changed since Wednesday or Thursday?” he asked.
“Why not sack him after the Sheffield Wednesday game or after the Bristol City match.
“Why let him take charge at the press conference and speak to local and national media about the plans for the future.
“I think it makes the club look really amateurish.”
However Iwan believes - regardless of the timing - that the decision will be welcomed by the majority of the players, and he said it raised the chance of re-igniting a play-off push.
He added that while some players will be “overjoyed” - they all need to take a look at themselves after under-performing for most of the season.
“I think they will win tomorrow,” Iwan said.
“It will feel like a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.”
He said Gary Rowett would be a good candidate to replace Neil, and also said he wouldn’t be surprised if Roy Hodgson was made director of football.