Angry Stoke City boss Alex Neil hits back at 'absolutely ridiculous' Sunderland question

Alex Neil says he has not regrets about leaving Sunderland for Stoke City despite the indifferent form of his new club.
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Stoke City go into the World Cup break two points behind Sunderland having played one game more, but Neil insists he made the move because of the potential to shape Stoke's future for years to come.

Neil was asked whether he had any regrets in the pre-match press conference that preceded Stoke's 2-0 defeat to Carlos Corberán's rapidly-improving West Brom.

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"That's an absolutely ridiculous thing to say, really," Neil responded.

"I've got absolutely no regrets about coming here. I came here because there's massive scope, owners that really want the club to do well and will do everything in their power to help you as a manager. They let me make key decisions as to what the next stage of the club is going to look like, and a lot of the time you don't get that type of scope.

"I've been here 15 games, and a lot of those things that you can shape take time. It's not just going to happen overnight. I came here not for a short period, I came here to build something over a long period of time. It's naturally going to take a bit longer than it would in some other circumstances.

"There are some squads where you come into a job where for example, you know you've got until the end of the season to get them out of a league, because that's where the squad is, how much money has been put in and that's how everyone deems it [the ambition].

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"I don't think anyone looks at us like that, I think they look at us as having underachieved for a number of years, we need to steady the ship, steadily improve and then build something that lasts a period of time. We're only at the start of that process."

Former Sunderland boss Alex NeilFormer Sunderland boss Alex Neil
Former Sunderland boss Alex Neil

Stoke last week appointed Ricky Martin as Technical Director, having previously worked with Neil at Norwich City, and further off-pitch changes are expected at the club over the course of the upcoming World Cup break.