Norwich boss Alex Neil takes responsibility for Canaries' relegation
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 11/05/16 11:55pm
Norwich City manager Alex Neil took full responsibility for the club's relegation from the Premier League on Wednesday night.
As a result, Norwich have slipped straight back into the Championship just 12 months after beating Middlesbrough in the play-off final at Wembley.
Neil, who took charge in East Anglia in January 2015, was particularly critical of his own role as Norwich manager in the club's plight.
"I am as much to blame, if not more to blame, than anybody else in the predicament we find ourselves in," said Neil. "I am the manager, so the buck will stop with me.
"I think we have made crucial errors in crucial games when it mattered, I think we have missed opportunities when it mattered, and I think I have made decisions that in hindsight probably have not been the right ones at times.
"So I think everybody at the club has a share of the burden for the position we find ourselves in."
Neil believed he and his players had the chances to beat the drop, but in the end they lacked the necessary quality to stay up.
"It's probably, certainly as a sportsman and someone involved in football, the hardest thing you can come across when you are involved," he said.
"I think there were crucial times across the season where we found ourselves in a position where it was in our hands and we had a game to win.
"And if we had picked up more points, scored more goals, we did not concede as many, then it would have been a different story.
"But ultimately across the 38 games, I know we still have a game to go, but we have fallen short."
However, if there was one bright spot on an otherwise bleak night then it was the reception Neil was given after the game by the club's supporters.
"It was very humbling for me how much the crowd have backed me and I think the disappointing thing for me is I feel as if I have let them down," he said.
"So to get that support based on what they have been provided this season was really nice."
Looking ahead, though, Neil wants the club to learn from the lessons of this season as they aim to follow Burnley by bouncing straight back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
He added: "As well as the errors that have been made within the games at both ends of the pitch, the errors may be made on my behalf at the side of the pitch and I think errors certainly in recruiting in strengthening the squad as much as we could going into the season.
"I think when you combine all those things, it makes it really tough to survive at this level and that is ultimately why we did not."