Alex Neil believes Norwich City have under-achieved this season and need to freshen up their squad following relegation from the Premier League.
Norwich were demoted on Wednesday despite a 4-2 win over Watford as Sunderland’s defeat of Everton gave them an unassailable four-point advantage with one game to play.
The Canaries had been expected to struggle, but Neil believes they have a better squad than their performances thiss season suggested at times.
“We’ve got the basis of a really good squad,” said Neil, whose side play at managerless Everton on Sunday.
“Looking at the squad we’ve got, how we would’ve hoped to have performed, I don’t think we hit those heights and ultimately that’s where we’ve got to.
“There will have to come a certain amount of freshness. A lot of players have been here for a number of years and that carries its own problems at times.”
Norwich climbed into the top flight through the play-offs 12 months ago and a lack of strengthening contributed to their downfall.
The defeat of Watford was just Norwich’s third win in 17 Premier League games. Losing became a habit.
“When you’re in a team that’s winning games consistently you can’t put your finger on it what makes it quite right, but you just go into every game with confidence,” Neil added.
“The same applies to when you’re not winning games. That’s how I felt this season for us and that’s not a good situation to be in.”
Neil enjoyed great success with Hamilton before securing promotion with Norwich five months after his arrival.
The 34-year-old believes he will learn from the biggest setback of his career.
He added: “Every year’s a massive learning curve. Since I’ve started management, every single year I’d like to think I’ve improved.
“Every year there’s certain things you come across for the first time that you have to deal with.
“The only right thing to do as a manager, whether you’re successful or not, is look back on it, reflect, and take the bits you feel are important and see how you dealt with them.
“And then think how you would deal with them again.”