Grant 'had coach lined up'

The Canaries last night defended their failure to replace first team coach Martin Hunter since his summer exit from the club.It's now three months since Hunter quit Carrow Road for a similar post at Watford.

The Canaries last night defended their failure to replace first team coach Martin Hunter since his summer exit from the club.

It's now three months since Hunter quit Carrow Road for a similar post at Watford. The Hornets are top of the Coca-Cola Championship table, while City languish third from bottom after taking one point from the last five league games.

Shareholder David Hawley told the annual meeting he had watched the reserve team lose 3-0 at Ipswich on Monday and seen “the same malaise, capitulation and lack of motivation” as the first team.

He suggested a coach of Hunter's calibre should have been replaced much earlier to give greater support to former boss Peter Grant.

But chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "It is not the role of the board to impose staff on a manager. It is to show what support they can and let the manager manage.

“Peter took his time to identify what he wanted to do but results didn't help what he wanted to do in terms of getting a coach in.”

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Caretaker boss Jim Duffy said: “Martin decided to leave. He wanted to go. I still speak to Martin and get on very well with Martin.”

Grant had spoken to another coach about coming in, but then put the move on hold because of uncertainty over his own position, said Duffy.

“The other coach would have been in place by now, but Peter felt after a couple of poor results he was in a precarious position. Peter said to the guy to wait until it settles down. It didn't settle down.”

More than one shareholder raised the issue of the captaincy, given to Jason Shackell in the close season, with Bob Wells suggesting Dion Dublin should be club captain to support the team captain.

Duffy said: “Peter appointed Jason and didn't want a club captain and a team captain.

“With Dion's influence it's exactly what he does anyway.”

Duffy said Shackell would be an excellent captain in two years' time but needed three or four strong characters in the team from whom he could learn.