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Alex Neil on Delia and admitting to mistakes at Norwich City

PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:57 14 February 2019

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke and Preston North End manager Alex Neil share a joke before City's 3-1 defeat 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke and Preston North End manager Alex Neil share a joke before City's 3-1 defeat Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Preston North End boss Alex Neil is tipping Norwich City to last the course in the Championship promotion stakes but admitted it was sweet to put one over his old club in a 3-1 midweek win.

Neil still has a soft spot for the Canaries and believes Daniel Farke is now reaping the benefits of the decision to get rid of him.

“I said before and I stand by it, I have no grievance whatsoever with Norwich. Delia sent me a lovely note after the game down there this season wishing me all the best and different things,” he said.

“I made a lot of good friends down there. I got very close to Delia and Michael and I was thankful for the opportunities I got and I understand the nature of football.

“I took them up, we couldn’t stay up and I was never going to be afforded the time if I couldn’t bring them back up that season. So the fact of the matter was someone else was handed the reins and they were going to be afforded the time.

“That happened to be Daniel and they have performed really well this season.

“Daniel was under pressure when we went there but he has turned it around and the one thing I do know is if you win games the fans down there will get behind you.

“Norwich will be there or thereabouts.

“They’ll be disappointed we beat them but you are not up at the top of the table after 32 games or so unless you deserve to be there.”

Neil guided Norwich to the Premier League, after being plucked from relative obscurity at Hamilton, and the Scot insists he is now a far better manager.

“I made mistakes at Norwich and I hope I have learned from them,” he said.

“I am more composed and more calm and I have a better idea of how I want my teams to play. I made certain errors there. But I am 37 now.

“Ashley Cole is older than me and he is still playing, just to put it in context.

“It came really early for me. I embraced it, I enjoyed it and in that second season I didn’t do well enough but I left Norwich in eighth and there is no shame in that. Daniel struggled in his first season with a lot of the players I had.

“What he has managed to do since is flip the squad around and bring a lot of his own players and they have done remarkably well.

“When you beat a team you have left it is always a good feeling.”

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