CEO spoke to Norwich City TV on WednesdayThe key questions from Jez Moxey's interview with Norwich City TV...
Q: It’s been a tough couple of days with the Boxing Day defeat at Reading followed by some passionate and angry opinions being expressed by supporters and by pundits in the media. Is the Club aware of those critical voices and the strength of feeling out there amongst Norwich City fans?
JM: Absolutely. We’re acutely aware of the fans’ opinion. The Board constantly listens to the fans, whether it’s via social media, letters coming into us, phone calls, meetings with supporters on the street – we’re fully aware of how they feel about things.
We’re all concerned, but we’re clear about what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to achieve it.
Q: The defeat at Reading made it eight defeats out of the last ten Championship games for City. Does the Board agree that’s unacceptable considering the strong squad we have?
JM: The Board acknowledges that results just aren’t good enough. We must do better, we must do better quickly, hopefully starting with three points away to Brentford.
This is a results-orientated business, everybody knows that, and we need to start winning matches and doing it very quickly.
Q: Many clubs faced with a run like that would change their manager – is it fair to say Norwich City have shown more loyalty to Alex than some might have expected?
JM: Well I think Norwich City is unique in many ways. For 20 years, the club has been run as a community club, a co-operative style football club.
Unlike some, it’s owned by genuine Norwich City fans who want nothing more than to serve the community, serve the fan and do what’s in the best interests of Norwich City Football Club. They have no other motive.
While we’re prepared to take whatever action is necessary to improve results, we don’t believe in just following the norm in football by replacing our manager to solve an immediate problem.
We think it’s much more complex than that. We think the manager needs some time to get things right, and we want to support him.
Q: How much of the responsibility for turning our current poor form around rests with Alex Neil as the manager?
JM: He’s the manager. Ultimately, the responsibility rests with him.
Q: Promotion was the objective underlined by you and the Board at the AGM in November – but has the recent bad run put paid to that objective for this season?
JM: No, absolutely not. We’re 23 games into the season, we’ve got half the season remaining. Promotion remains the aim.
That may sound hollow or a really big challenge given that we’re in 12th place, but things can change so quickly in the Championship. Put a string of results together, and you can see the team climbing up the table and that’s what we expect Alex Neil and our players to deliver for the fans in the coming weeks.
Q: If we were to pick up a negative result at Brentford, would that cost the manager his job?
JM: I’m not into answering hypothetical questions or getting drawn in on timetables.
Alex Neil knows, we know, the fans know, the Board knows, everyone knows that we need to improve results quickly. But we’re also saying that we need to give Alex time.
We’re behind him, we’re in this together, we win together, we lose together and we hope that he will be able to turn this thing around.
JM: Well the Board talk about the football club daily. We have meetings, we go to games, we talk about the football, we talk about the manager and we talk to the manager. I’m speaking to the manager daily.
We’re all concerned about the current situation, so it would be remiss of us not to be talking about the very thing that makes us tick, which is how results are going, how performances are, how the manager is performing.
He knows he’s under pressure, we know everybody wants him to do well and so of course it’s a topic of discussion.