BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Alex Neil admits he is surprised bigger clubs have not so far swooped to sign Ali Crawford from Hamilton Accies – but insists the midfielder’s time will come.
Neil played alongside Crawford in the Accies engine room and helped further mentor the play-maker after taking over as manager from Billy Reid in 2013.
Crawford has become a hugely influential player at New Douglas Park in recent times and has this season won plaudits for his impressive performances for the Lanarkshire outfit.
And Neil has confessed he is taken aback that his former team-mate has not yet earned a move away from Hamilton.
Asked if he was surprised Crawford had not attracted bids from clubs on either side of the border, the Norwich City boss said: “Yes, I am. I think Ali’s technically fantastic, he’s one of the best players I’ve come across.
“The only thing that lets him down is his size but (you can overcome that) when you are as technically gifted as he is.
“He’s proven in Scotland, where I think he’s one of the top goal-scorers from midfield.
“I’m sure he’ll go on to have a great career. I think his time will come.”
Meanwhile, Neil has indicated he may send more Norwich players to his former club on loan in the future.
Accies currently have Carlton Morris on loan from the Canaries, with the striker having netted twice in 14 appearances.
And Neil, who is a childhood pal of Hamilton boss Martin Canning, has revealed he will consider allowing more to gain experience north of the border.
In an interview with BT Sport, he added: “We still speak regularly. (Martin and I) have been friends since high school and we are still close, but to be honest we don’t really talk a great deal about football.
“I’ve given him Carlton Morris, whose done well for them this season.
“We’ll try and help out, providing it suits our young players to go up there and get some first-team action, which is good for them.”