Baggies reportedly considering former City boss in attempt to reboot promotion hopes
PUBLISHED: 16:23 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 18:57 12 March 2019
West Brom are reportedly considering former Norwich City manager Alex Neil for their vacant hot seat, following the promotion hopefuls’ decision to sack Darren Moore.
Drawing 1-1 at home to relegation-bound Ipswich on Saturday was enough for the Baggies’ hierarchy to make a change, sacking club legend Moore with his team fourth and nine points adrift of the top two.
With 10 games remaining it looks likely that Albion will have to focus on a play-off campaign, short of a remarkable turnaround – similar to that which Neil sparked when he arrived at Norwich in January 2015.
Former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has been the favourite with bookmakers this week but Sky Sports reporter Rob Dorsett claims Neil is now a ‘strong contender’ for the role.
Jokanovic remains 1/4 favourite with Bet Victor, ahead of David Moyes (8/1) and former Norwich boss Neil (12/1), while it’s a similar story with Paddy Power, who have Jokanovic as 4/11 favourite, ahead of Moyes (6/1) and Neil (9/1).
The 37-year-old was the shock appointment by the Canaries after their own club legend, Neil Adams, had resigned in January 2015.
Having taken Hamilton to the Scottish top flight as player-manager the former Barnsley midfielder inspired City to win 15 of their remaining 22 games, to take third place, missing out on automatic promotion by just three points to Jokanovic’s Watford.
Play-off semi-final victory over Ipswich was followed by a superb Wembley appearance to beat Middlesbrough 2-0 in the final and secure promotion.
The Scot’s best-laid plans could not prevent an immediate Premier League promotion though, despite being six points clear of the bottom three as the second half of the campaign began – soon after a famous 2-1 win at Manchester United.
After an initially bright return to the Championship, sitting top in September, tailed away Neil lost his job in March 2017 with his team nine points adrift of the top six.
He arrived at Preston that summer and has North End four points from the play-offs with 10 games remaining despite a limited budget, having finished seventh and just two points short of the top six last season.
The former Canaries chief has also been touted with the Celtic job in recent weeks, following Neil Lennon’s initial return until the end of the season following Brendan Rodgers move to Leicester.
West Brom host Swansea on Wednesday night, when Preston travel to play-off rivals Middlesbrough.
Neil led his team to a 3-1 win over Norwich at Deepdale last month and looked back on his time with the Canaries after victory over the automatic promotion contenders.