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Alex Neil regrets not shifting on Norwich City's old timers

PUBLISHED: 18:44 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:44 18 April 2017

Alex Neil is looking to get back into football after his Norwich City exit. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil is looking to get back into football after his Norwich City exit. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Former Norwich City boss Alex Neil admitted he needed to be more ruthless in culling the Canaries' squad after last season's Premier League relegation.

Neil was dismissed in March after failing to get City firmly in the promotion mix. The Scot insists his only regret, looking back on his time at Carrow Road, was not shaking up the squad last summer as they geared up for a return to the Championship.

“When you are a manager you go in with your eyes open,” he said. “If you don’t win games then your position is going to become questionable. I never would come away saying I should have had this or that happen. Looking at the squad I would never say we were not good enough to get up. I would say we were. The one thing I would say, and I made this point on numerous occasions leading up to my departure, we needed to start afresh. There was a lot of players who had been there five or more years.

“The one thing I probably blame myself for was in the summer I re-signed all the players to get us back up, because they had got us up in the past. What I probably should have done is took a bit more time and maybe looked to alter some of the squad at that stage.”

Neil, speaking to BBC Scotland, was dismissed by chairman Ed Balls and former acting CEO Steve Stone.

“To be honest Delia wasn’t the one who told me I was no longer required,” said Neil. “I had spoken to Ed Balls and Steve Stone and I requested to go and speak with Delia, who was in the boardroom upstairs, and I went in and thanked her for everything she had done and the opportunity she had given me. It was a gamble going from Hamilton Accies to Norwich was a big move and trying to get them into the Premier League, which we managed to do. David McNally, in particular, showed huge amounts of faith in me.

“The fact is football is football. I have no ill will to anyone. The only frustration was I had set out the plans in terms of taking things forward and what we needed and this was how we were going to do it and I really believed it would work but I didn’t get the opportunity to see the job through.”

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