On this day: Alex Neil guides Norwich City to the Premier League with Wembley win
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

On this day in 2015, Norwich City were victorious in the Championship play-off final against Middlesbrough, beating Aitor Karanka's side 2-0 at Wembley.

Norwich boss Alex Neil had only taken charge of the club in January, replacing Neil Adams and becoming the second youngest manager in the Football League.

He had previously managed Hamilton Academical, where he earned promotion to the top flight in Scotland during his first full season.

Both sides had come close to automatic promotion in the 2014/15 campaign, Norwich finished in third position on 86 points, with Boro ending the season one point behind in fourth place, three and four points away from an automatic spot respectively.

In the meetings between the two sides during the season, Boro came out on top - winning 4-0 at the Riverside and 1-0 at Carrow Road.

How the game unfolded

In a match worth £120 million, Norwich flew straight out of the blocks and had the game won within the first 20 minutes.

Bradley Johnson's left-footed volley crashed against the bar, before Boro went down the other end and rattled the woodwork themselves with Jelle Vossen's long-range strike.

Cameron Jerome put the Canaries 1-0 up, capitalising on a mistake from Boro defender Daniel Ayala after 12 minutes.

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Just three minutes later, a strike from Nathan Redmond made it two for Neil's men, with over 86,000 spectators watching on at the national stadium.

John Ruddy saved from Patrick Bamford in the second half, whilst Albert Adomah was a threat down the wing, although they were unable to get a goal back in the game.

As a result, Norwich retained their unbeaten status on the road under Neil and were promoted to the Premier League.

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Post match reaction

After achieving promotion to the Premier League for the first time in his managerial career and at the first time of asking, Neil was keen to show his appreciation to those who put their faith in him, he said:

“I more feel pleased for everybody else, it’s a strange thing to say.

"The thing that drives me is about letting people down. I hate people letting down. Norwich showed so much faith in me.”

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The Scot was very aware of the challenges that he and his team would face in the following campaign after such a successful season.

“My biggest challenge is going to be expectation. People are expecting us to go boom and do really well in the Premier League. It’s extremely difficult just to compete at that level. The gulf is vast. But there are teams that manage to do it.

“I’m not silly. I know big the task is. It’s huge. But other clubs of a similar size go up and do well. I’m hoping we can give a good account of ourselves and compete.”

Norwich went on to be relegated from the Premier League the following season.

Neil was then sacked during the next campaign as he tried to get the Canaries back to the big time.

The Canaries are now back in the Premier League under Daniel Farke and will be fighting for survival once English football returns, whilst Neil will be hoping he can guide Preston North End to the Championship play-offs, they sit in sixth position with nine games to go.

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