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30 May 2015

City's Chief Executive on Alex Neil and the Premier League

NORWICH City Chief Executive David McNally has praised the impact of manager Alex Neil after the 33-year-old guided the Canaries back to the Barclays Premier League.

City's return to the top-flight was confirmed courtesy of a famous victory in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley, as goals from Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond secured a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Following the triumph, McNally said: "Alex is a young, hungry and bright coach who is very good both tacticaly and technically.

"To cap it all, he's a great man-manager and a fantastic leader. Those leadership skills have been demonstrated day-in, day-out.

"The reason for our victory at Wembley was down to the meticulous preparation and the game-plan he put in place - and of course the way the players carried out his instructions. He's terrific, and we're very pleased he's our manager."

Neil made the switch to Carrow Road in January, having impressed during his time in charge of Scottish side Hamilton Academical - who he guided to promotion from the First Division via the play-offs in his first full season the previous year.

Since moving to Norfolk, the former Barnsley midfielder has amassed 17 wins from 25 league and play-off matches, with McNally commenting: "Everything you do in football is a gamble; you don't have time to get things wrong or honeymoon periods to bed people in as most games are must-win.

"With any appointment, you look at four things: Knowledge, skill, experience and attitude. Alex ticked all the boxes for us, and his ability to galvanise the squad he inherited has been truly remarkable.

"Alex will say he inherited a really good squad, but let's not forget how tough it is to bounce back at the first time of asking. Of the last 18 relegated Clubs, only two have been promoted at the first time of asking. That shows just how tough it is."

McNally is already relishing the prospect of Premier League football once more, explaining: "It's the best, most tough, most exciting, most difficult, most unforgiving league in the world.

"We will learn from our experiences, particularly from that final year where we did struggle. However, you learn more in struggle than in good times. We'll go and enjoy it."

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