Alex Neil: Norwich City appoint Hamilton player-manager as boss

Neil at ease with Norwich pressure

Championship side Norwich City have appointed Hamilton Academical player-manager Alex Neil as their new boss.

The 33-year-old Scot has signed a one-year rolling contract and replaces Neil Adams, who resigned on Monday.

Neil leaves Hamilton third in the Scottish Premiership, four points behind leaders Aberdeen, after leading them to promotion last season.

"I'm absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to manage a club of the stature of Norwich," said Neil.

First-team coaches Mike Phelan and Gary Holt will remain in their roles, while Neil's assistant at Hamilton, Frank McAvoy, will join the coaching staff before the end of the month.

"It was a bit of a surprise"
To listen to Alex Neil's first press conference as Norwich City boss click here

Neil will be in the stands for Saturday's trip to Championship leaders Bournemouth, with Phelan taking charge of the side.

Norwich are currently seventh in the table and only three points off a play-off place.

Neil, who took over at New Douglas Park in May 2013, has played eight times this season for Accies, but does not expect to continue as a player-manager at City.

He said he may feature for the Under-21 side occasionally to offer his experience to the club's youngsters.

Neil from good managerial stock
Alex Neil was born in Bellshill, which was also the birthplace of legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, as well as current Wigan boss and former Norwich defender Malky Mackay.

The former Barnsley midfielder, who becomes the second youngest manager in the Football League behind Mansfield's Adam Murray, led Accies to second place in the Scottish Championship last season.

They went on to beat Hibernian 4-3 on penalties after their two-legged play-off finished 2-2 on aggregate to win promotion to Scotland's top flight for the first time in three years.

"I was a bit surprised to get the call from Norwich," he said. "My first task is to improve on where we are. If we can do that hopefully we can move up the league.

"I was always going to have trepidation. But I've been given the opportunity to take on a big job and I'm excited by the challenge.

"As a manager I am honest, upfront and let the lads know what I expect of them."

The lowdown on Alex Neil
"Accies' approach is so ordered and sound that individuals can fit seamlessly into different positions because they all know what is expected of them."
BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson on Norwich's new manager

Neil, who also played for Airdrieonians and Mansfield, becomes the 10th Scot to manage the Canaries.

He will work alongside the Canaries' football executive board, which also includes chief executive David McNally, technical director Ricky Martin and head of recruitment Barry Simmonds.

But McNally said Neil will have the final say on transfer activity at the club.

"Alex will decide players coming in and ones leaving," he said.

"The other people are there to support him. No way is anyone going to join the club without authorisation from the manager."

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