‘I don’t think there was any bitterness’ - Alex Neil on his Norwich City return

Alex Neil is not on a revenge mission on his return to Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus

Alex Neil is not on a revenge mission on his return to Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Preston boss Alex Neil insists he bears no grudge towards Norwich City ahead of his Carrow Road return.

Neil was dismissed last season after failing to get the Canaries in promotion contention, to repeat his heroics from 2015 when he led the club to the Premier League.

The 36-year-old admits he will forever be indebted to his former employer, who took a punt on the unheralded ex-Hamilton chief.

“I’ve got great feelings towards the club, I’ve got no ill feeling towards the club at all,” he said.

“They gave me the opportunity to come down and manage in England, I managed to get in to the Premier League and manage there for somebody so young.

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“I think it showed a lot of courage from them and David McNally, who was the chief executive, in particular, to give me the job and I will be forever grateful for that.

“The fact is, football moves on. You don’t stay anywhere forever, and the nature of football, particularly at Championship level with what is at stake, is if you don’t win enough games then your position becomes under threat and that’s ultimately what happened.

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“I think I handled myself gracefully, I don’t think there was any bitterness from me.

“Naturally you are always a bit disappointed and frustrated because you think that you can get it going and turn it around but the decision was made and I respect that.

“As far as I’m concerned, that’s all in the past now, I’ve got great memories of being there and the success that we did have.

“I’m just looking forward to going back, seeing a few people but hopefully trying to win the game.”

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Neil’s focus is three points for the Lancashire side from his Norfolk reunion.

“Although we want to go there and we want to win, it’s not for any other reason than the fact that we want to climb up the table,” he said, on Preston’s official site.

“I think naturally you’re always going to look at the game because there are prior connections with the club but it doesn’t mean any more than any other game in terms of points and that’s the most important thing for us.”

Preston travel in buoyant mood after a midweek 2-1 league victory at Bristol City.

“You take key players out, teams are always going to suffer,” he said.

“The good thing is, we’ve started to get a couple back and we’ve managed to go and get a really good result off the back of that.”

• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…

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