July 23 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
New football consultant Joe Royle has confirmed work has already begun on planning Norwich City’s playing squad for a Championship push next season.
Royle’s Carrow Road return was confirmed on Monday, to help and support new permanent manager Neil Adams alongside first-team coaches Gary Holt and Mark Robson.
And with the backroom staff settled, the work on shaping City’s squad following Premier League relegation is already under way.
“I’ve had talks with Neil and (chief executive) David McNally last week and we were going through names,” said Royle. “You look at Norwich’s season last year, they didn’t score anything like enough goals – just 28 I think – but equally they had the third worst defensive record in the league.
“So somewhere in between that, you’ve got to look at the whole balance right the way through the side. Did they defend well enough in midfield? Did they score enough goals from midfield?
“We’ve been right through the whole playing staff, have realistically drawn up a list of who might be with Norwich next year, who hopefully will be with Norwich next year and who won’t be with Norwich next year.”
Queens Park Rangers’ immediate return to the Premier League this season through the Championship play-offs could offer City a view to what could ensure success come May.
“They kept the players Harry Redknapp wanted to keep certainly, and it would be nice if we could keep the majority of the players that Neil knows and they want to keep in the side,” said Royle.
“But there will inevitably be one or two departures and there will inevitably be two or three incoming players as well. We have to look closely at the striking position because there just weren’t enough goals in the team last year.”
Keeping key men will play a big part of that – and on last season’s evidence, that includes Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass and goalkeeper John Ruddy.
“Yes, we are all hoping he (Snodgrass) will be there next year,” added Royle. “He had a great attitude, from what Neil tells me. They think very highly of him there and right to the last whistle of the last game, he was doing his best to win a game for Norwich. So he’s the type you want around.
“John did very well. I’m told he had 12 clean sheets last year, which is a great record in a relegated side, and I know there has been interest in the past from top clubs in the Premier League.
“You just hope that’s sorted out sooner rather than later so that everyone can settle down. But traditionally now, and with the World Cup, I do suspect the transfer market will be quite sterile or quiet for a while yet.”
Former City player and Ipswich manager Royle, 65, is at least glad to be back in the game thanks to Adams.
“I had Neil as a player at Oldham and he was always a conscientious player,” Royle told Talksport. “He’s gone through the coaching regime. He was coach of a Norwich youth side that won the FA Youth Cup last year among much bigger spending, illustrious youth sides.
“So they obviously think very well of Neil there. They want to give him his chance and thankfully they’ve asked me to go and help him.”