City 'closing in on Grant successor'

Norwich City's top brass are closing in on the man who will be entrusted with rescuing the Canaries from the Championship mire.

Norwich City's top brass are closing in on the man who will be entrusted with rescuing the Canaries from the Championship mire.

Pressure is mounting for the club to fill the hot seat vacated by Peter Grant two-and-a-half weeks ago, and chief executive Neil Doncaster says they are close to bringing the saga to a conclusion, although he refused to set a time scale for the new man to be in place.

“We are closing in on an appointment,” said Doncaster. “We are now 16 days following Peter's departure and we are certainly closing in and we hope to be able to announce a new appointment in the near future.

“I am not going to be drawn into speculation about names. The number of people who have applied and the number of people we are interested in has meant that to do a thorough job, to look very carefully at them and meet the people we need to, takes some time.

“We had interviews last week, we had further interviews this week and we are now closing in on an appointment.”

The managerial situation was on the agenda at a sometimes stormy fans' forum at Diss Football Club last night - although chairman Roger Munby said he could not guarantee that a replacement for Grant would be in place before the derby clash at home to Ipswich a week on Sunday.

Most Read

“I can give you a prospect but I can't give you a guarantee,” he said.

“We are looking for the best man possible and that man might not be immediately available to us.”

Munby also dodged a question asking whether the club was able to attract someone like Paul Jewell, who remains one of the favourites to take over.

“I don't think it is fair to the people or the process to name individuals,” he said.

“We will be attracting the best possible managers according to the criteria. We are doing our best.”

Since Grant left the club 17 days ago, City have lost both games under the guidance of caretaker manager Jim Duffy and could find themselves bottom of the Championship after tomorrow's trip to West Bromwich Albion - a match which Duffy will again be in charge of.

Speculation continues to be rife over the successor to Grant, and with the English managerial merry-go-round in full swing, there is plenty to chew over.

One south London newspaper has reported that Phil Parkinson, number two to Alan Pardew at Charlton, has been interviewed for the job, while Stoke manager Tony Pulis continues to be linked with the vacancy.

And Steve Staunton's sacking as Republic of Ireland manager this week means he may well enter the race - a link that may grow because of the time he spent playing alongside Dion Dublin during their Aston Villa days.

If City harbour any hope of persuading Geraint Williams to leave Colchester they are going to have to get past chief executive Marie Partner, who issued a hands-off warning yesterday.

Mrs Partner revealed that City had made no approach for Williams.

“For George (Williams) to be approached, Norwich would have to go through the right channels, and I can confirm that no contact has been made,” said Mrs Partner.

“To be honest, I would hope that George would not even consider the Norwich job. He's quite happy being the number one at Colchester.”

Williams confirmed: “If there was any approach, I would have heard it from Robbie Cowling (chairman and owner), and I have heard nothing.

“I wasn't interviewed for the Norwich job on Tuesday. I was at Ipswich - honest.”

Parkinson, who masterminded Colchester's promotion into the Championship in 2005-06, is one of the favourites for the job.

The 39-year-old spent an ill-fated five-month spell at Hull after leaving Colchester, moved to The Valley in January to take over as Pardew's assistant, but has been linked with a number of clubs in recent months, including south London rivals Millwall.

If Parkinson did take the City job, it would be the second time that Pardew has lost an assistant to the Canaries, following Grant's defection from West Ham in October last year.