Alex Neil outlines his next job desire amid Birmingham City manager links

Sunderland manager Alex Neil
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Alex Neil is hoping for a marriage made in heaven when he finally returns to work. Manager Neil, most recently of Stoke City, is awaiting his next football challenge and currently tops the market as Birmingham City seek their next manager.

Blues announced that Tony Mowbray would not be returning to the club this summer, after he was forced to take a leave of absence to undergo medical treatment back in February. Despite interim manager Gary Rowett's efforts, Blues find themselves in the third tier of English football for the first time in almost 30 years.

With plenty of work needing to be done on the recruitment front in the coming weeks and months, after a flurry of departures at the end of the campaign, identifying and appointing Mowbray's permanent successor remains Blues' priority right now. Neil, who has plenty of EFL experience with Preston and Norwich, and who guided Sunderland out of League One two years ago, is hoping for a similar working relationship to ones he's experiences previously.

READ: Plymouth chief explains why Rooney is 'perfect' despite Blues sacking

READ: Blues issued with clear transfer instruction after manager admission

"I'm not sure, if I'm honest," Neil told the EFL Debate YouTube channel in March, when asked specifically on what he is after in his next job. "I've had conversations with a couple of clubs since I've left Stoke, which didn't really feel quite right for me at the time. Something that I can really get my teeth into, which has got stability around it. I think the difficulty you've got is the timing of when you go in somewhere is absolutely key.

"The timing of the Sunderland job, for me and the club, was perfect. The timing of the Norwich job, for me and the club, was perfect. The timing of the Preston job was perfect. For me, that's arguably the one thing that wasn't quite right when I went into Stoke and what was needed to be done for the first 10 months before we got to the summer to turn things around.

"At the end of the day, I'm not naïve. In football, you're expected to be successful, to win games and be at the top end of the division. If you're not, particularly in the Championship, it's going to cost you your job. I've got no gripes. Could I have done better? Of course, you can always do better.

"I do believe I've got a lot to offer. I've had three promotions as a coach. Having a bald head doesn't help but I'm still only 42! A lot of young coaches are only getting on the coaching ladder then. I've been blessed that I've got a lot of experience from a really young age. I've got a lot more learning and a lot more to achieve as I go forward.

"I want something that I believe in, but also somewhere that believes I'm the right person to take it forward. I've been fortunate enough to have four or five clubs which have married up really well for me and them. I'd like to think there'll be another one coming on the horizon soon."

Who is your choice for next Blues boss? Tell us here