Norwich City chief Alex Neil points out one crucial difference in Paul Lambert comparisons
PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:40 28 February 2015
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Alex Neil is well used to the Paul Lambert comparisons by now, but the Norwich City boss feels there is one key difference between the duo.
Lambert carved his own niche in derby folklore with two comprehensive wins in the club’s 2010/11 Championship promotion-winning campaign.
Neil will emulate that feat if his squad can complete a league double on Sunday, and strike a major psychological blow to their rivals in the race for the Premier League, but the 33-year-old’s initial impact on the squad he inherited has already proved he is his own man.
“No, I don’t know Paul at all. The only similarity I see is the fact we are both Scottish,” said Neil. “I don’t know him that well, he might be similar to me for all I know, but others who have been here perhaps can judge that better. A lot of people compared me to him when I came in but he was in League One and I know he did fantastically well but it is an easier foundation.
“I know that because I did the same with Hamilton, so it is much easier to do it from that level than if you look at the job Martin Canning has now after taking over from me. When you are third and there are only two places for improvement that is not a lot of scope.
“If you start at the bottom end you have a longer way and huge potential. There is still potential here but if I took the job in League One I would be probably even more confident of getting where we want to go.”
Neil’s former club have yet to win a game since his January exit and the Norwich chief was back on familiar territory recently to watch Hamilton’s 3-0 Scottish Premier League defeat to Aberdeen.
“I think there are a variety of reasons why that is the case, but I can see why people will look at it and make that link,” he said. “There was the mid-season break and obviously a lot of upheaval with the managerial change, coaches leaving, and they have lost one or two players as well. I don’t think the fixture list has been the kindest to them either. They’ve had a lot of hard games and have played the top four in the last few games.
“Martin is the right man for the job. I was playing as well as managing myself and it is not that difficult because I had been there for such a long time I was helping them out on the pitch anyway, so really it was just taking that role off the pitch and getting everything functioning. Once you get it up and running it ticks itself over and we had a great group of lads to work with. It’s been a fantastic season and hopefully they can finish it strongly.”