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Alex Neil shows support for former team-mate Garry Monk

Published 08/11/2015

Alex Neil reorganised his Norwich team for Saturday's defeat of Swansea
Alex Neil reorganised his Norwich team for Saturday's defeat of Swansea

Alex Neil has come out in support of former team-mate Garry Monk after Norwich's 1-0 defeat of Swansea left the manager with only a solitary win in nine games.

Swansea appeared bereft of ideas and confidence both before and after Jonny Howson's second half headed goal extended his worst run as a manager.

There has so far been little suggestion that the 36-year-old is under significant pressure but Swansea sacked his predecessor Michael Laudrup less than a year after he inspired them to the 2013 League Cup, and Premier League management has become an increasingly unstable profession.

Saturday's result ended Neil's own winless run of six, and the Scot - like Monk, considered a highly promising manager - praised his former Barnsley team-mate's credentials and was adamant in his belief that Swansea are already employing the right man.

"Yeah (they'd be stupid to panic with Monk)," he said.

"If you look at them last year, they got the highest-ever points tally they've had. What changes from the end of that season for 12 games into this season?

"It's the same manager, he's probably not doing too much different, you just go through wee lulls and spells where it becomes tough, maybe people are out of form or you pick up a couple of injuries, there's a host of things.

"Maybe he needs to freshen it up a little bit, but Garry will be best placed to know exactly what he needs to do next. For me, if you got rid of Garry Monk or even thought about it it's a sad day in football.

"We're only 12 games into the season. I know a couple (of managers are) already gone but it just shows you what football's like."

Monk remained convinced that his team, who dominated possession without doing anything of note, did not deserve defeat.

His squad remains among the Premier League's more talented but he accepts that they are low in confidence and that should their results not swiftly improve they will soon be battling relegation.

"When you are in a period such as this your confidence is not going to be at its highest but you have to give them the trust that you believe in them," he said.

"I understand that football is a tough business and a cruel business. It is very cut-throat and you are working to very thin margins.

"Of course you are always wary of (joining the relegation battle) and bear it in mind. We are not quite there yet but in the next few days we have got to put our marker down otherwise the situation will be the situation. I don't think of it like that, I look at it as a challenge."

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