Will Hughton get a warning shot?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Not surprisingly, if you are a Norwich City fan, there has been perhaps just one subject of debate this week: Chris Hughton, and his future.
No one wants to see anyone lose their job, but there are plenty who are calling for Hughton's head. Wins are becoming hard to find among the debris of defeat, yet City have played better in their last three games than in most others. And have one point to show for their efforts.
If the chief executive is embarrassed by their relegation zone position (and it matters not that they are perhaps a win away from escaping the bottom three) then so are many supporters.
Forget the Capital One Reserve Team Cup, it has absolutely no relevance to the Hughton situation.
The manager finds himself on the brink; that's not scaremongering, nor grabbing a headline. It is fact. The truth is, many have gone for a lot less.
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Nigel Worthington's side were 17th in the Championship table when he got the shepherd's crook, but for those who can remember the dark days of September-October 2006, there were other things happening in the background. Fans were gathering outside the ground, in earshot of the boardroom, venting their anger. There were red cards with 'Worthy Out' printed on them (I still have one in the back of a draw somewhere, I know not why).
But, most telling of all, they had an ally, of sorts.
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Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn Jones had, in rather more sedate and orderly fashion, expressed their own views with what we would now regard as a remarkable public statement. It came after a particularly poor performance by City at Plymouth, where they lost 3-1.
'We are determined to achieve success at Norwich City and to that end we expect this situation to be rectified at our next home game on Sunday and at our next away game. We rely on our manager and squad to do this not only on behalf of our supporters but for the long-term future of the club.'
That is what you call an ultimatum.
Don't expect anything like that from Delia and Michael now – but it would be interesting to know how they, and their fellow board members feel. We may find out sooner rather than later. If the axe falls,i t will fall quickly: at least Worthy had a warning shot.