Norwich sack Neil as promotion hopes fade

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Alan Irvine is set to take charge of the Canaries on a temporary basis following the sacking of the manager on Friday

Norwich City have confirmed the sacking of manager Alex Neil after a run of five games without a win left their promotion hopes in tatters.

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Neil led Norwich to promotion from the Championship in 2015, but they were subsequently relegated from the Premier League under the 35-year-old's leadership.

The Canaries have been around the top six for most of the season, but results including a 5-1 thrashing at fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday on March 3 leave the club nine points adrift of the play-off places.

It is their form that now sees Neil pay the price, with the club announcing his departure on Friday.

"Norwich City can confirm manager Alex Neil's contract has been terminated with immediate effect," a club statement read. 

"The board has taken the tough but unanimous decision, believing it is in the best interests of the club for a new manager to be in place through a crucial summer transfer window and into next season.

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"The directors would like to place on record their sincere gratitude to Alex for all of his hard work and for the fantastic achievement of guiding us to the Premier League in 2015, via a memorable play-off final success against Middlesbrough at Wembley.

"Through tough seasons last year in the Premier League and this year in the Championship, Alex has always given his all to the club and we wish him every success in his future career."

Former West Brom manager Alan Irvine will step up from his role as the club's first-team coach to take charge of Norwich's Championship game against Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road on Saturday.

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