May 20, 2018

Alex Neill: The Scotsman with a Midas Touch

Neill

The Norwich city coach vastly changed Norwich City’s fortunes leading them to promotion from the Championship to the Premier league last season.
BY STEVE NJUGUNA

When Norwich City were relegated from the English Premier League at the end of the 2013/2014 season, few gave them a chance of coming back up. Halfway through the season, many were surprised when the relatively young Alex Neill was announced as their new coach. By the end of the season the surprise turned to admiration as the 34 year old Neill lead the club back to the Premier League after winning the playoff final against a tough Middlesbrough side.

Alex Neill was born in Scotland in 1981 and started his early football career with Airdrie before moving to Barnsley then Mansfield town before signing for Hamilton Academical in Scotland in 2005. He operated mainly in the center of midfield. He won the Scottish first Division title with Hamilton in 2008 and stayed at the club as a player until 2013 when he was made a player coach leading the club back to top flight status.

Norwich then showed interest in him and he was unveiled as the new manager to the Canaries where he led them to an amazing run of 17 wins from 25 games at the beginning of 2015. They finished third in the Championship and went to the playoffs where they saw off Ipswich town by a 4-2 margin in the Semi-finals before defeating Middlesbrough by a 2-0 margin in the final to get promotion to the Premier League. He is credited with instilling belief in his players and also ensuring discipline amongst his ranks despite being the youngest manager in the English Premier League this season.

His Premier League experience so far has been bittersweet as Norwich succumbed to a 3-1 opening day defeat against Crystal Palace but managed to bounce back on match day two with a resounding 3-1 win over Sunderland.

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