Duffy’s job hopes take a nosedive

CHRIS LAKEY Jim Duffy's hopes of becoming Norwich City's next manager took a huge nosedive over the weekend, with reports linking more names to the Carrow Road vacancy.

CHRIS LAKEY

Jim Duffy's hopes of becoming Norwich City's next manager took a huge nosedive over the weekend, with reports linking more names to the Carrow Road vacancy.

National newspapers yesterday suggested that Southend boss Steve Tilson has been lined up to replace Peter Grant, with rumours gathering momentum that former Canaries midfielder and current Norway national team coach Aage Hareide is one of the overseas managers the board claims have applied for the job.

The name of former Wigan boss Paul Jewell also refuses to go away as fans anxiously wait for someone to come in and steady a ship that is in danger of sinking without a trace.

Duffy is in caretaker charge, but his hopes of getting the job permanently weren't helped by the 3-1 home defeat by newly-promoted Bristol City on Saturday.

The fact that Darren Huckerby scored the team's first goal for 636 agonising minutes did little to temper an angry Carrow Road crowd who have now seen City fail to win any of their last six league games to slump to second from bottom of the Championship - just one point above QPR.

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One bookmaker is quoting odds of just 6-4 that City will be relegated to League One - and the longer the hot-seat remains empty the worse the situation becomes.

Duffy insists there were consolations to be taken from Saturday, with City creating “more chances today probably in the first 30 minutes than we have created in the last four matches” - but the chances fell almost exclusively to loan signing John Hartson, who was clearly short of match fitness and match sharpness.

“There were some good points in the game, but ultimately it's about results and the result wasn't good enough,” said Duffy.

To add to his problems, left-back Adam Drury strained knee ligaments and is a doubt for tomorrow's trip to Burnley - a match which kicks off two-week period which could determine Norwich City's future, with a trip to West Brom followed by home games against Ipswich and Watford.

Duffy says his job application has taken a back seat to match preparation.

“I don't really think about that, I just wanted to instil some belief into the players and some confidence in the players, that's the only objective I have and the best way to do that is by winning,” he said.

“I won't be approaching the board to find out - for me it is about getting the players ready for Burnley. I think I got them prepared for the game today, I think they were mentally prepared, I think they were physically prepared. I think they knew the job to do and they did that for the most part and I will do the same again for Tuesday. There is not too much expectation for us up at Burnley - maybe this is the time for the players to turn it around.”

City will go bottom of the table tomorrow night if they lose at Turf Moor and QPR, who have a game in hand, pick up three points at fellow strugglers Preston.