City must retain Neil, even after Norwich’s relegation, writes Edward Seaman

Columnist Edward Seaman

Columnist Edward Seaman

Sometimes it’s only when you are staring adversity straight in the face that you realise what it means to truly support a football club.

And that was the case on Wednesday night as 26,000 ever-loyal Norwich City fans watched their side fall through the Premier League trapdoor once more.

Yes, the 4-2 victory over Watford was,too late and once again left us wondering ‘what if?’ but I’m proud of the way both the players and the fans showed real courage with the relegation axe hanging over our heads.

With Sunderland cruising at 3-0 it would have been all too easy to accept our fate and go out with a whimper - as we have done in previous years - but the air of defiance which swept around Carrow Road shows that this club is already prepared for the next battle.

Make no mistake about it, relegation hurts, and it will continue to hurt as we head into the summer, but at this time one thing is unequivocally clear: Alex Neil has to stay at the helm of this football club.

By his own admission, Neil has made mistakes this season, but it goes without saying he is one of the brightest young managers in the country and the City board has to do all it can to ensure the Scot leads us into the Championship in August.

And that’s a City board now without David McNally after his shock resignation.

Of course, the whole situation could have been dealt with better and McNally, rightly or wrongly, does have to shoulder some of the blame for two avoidable relegations in three years, but let’s not forget all he has done for this football club.

Before his arrival, crippling debts had us flirting with the footballing abyss, but he steadied the ship, dragged us to back-to-back promotions, financial stability and three out of the last four seasons in the top flight. To me that is some legacy and certainly something to be forever grateful for.