New chapter for Canaries
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City opened a new chapter in the history books yesterday when Peter Grant was named as their new manager. A day that began with rumours that the former Canaries midfielder was a front-runner in the managerial merry-go-round intensified when leading bookmakers closed betting late yesterday morning and then reached fever pitch in the afternoon, forcing City to put an end to the constant round of speculation with an official announcement.
Norwich City opened a new chapter in the history books yesterday when Peter Grant was named as their new manager.
A day that began with rumours that the former Canaries midfielder was a front-runner in the managerial merry-go-round intensified when leading bookmakers closed betting late yesterday morning and then reached fever pitch in the afternoon, forcing City to put an end to the constant round of speculation with an official announcement.
The news - which City might have preferred to have been kept under wraps until after this afternoon's game at QPR - came after Norwich agreed a compensation deal with West Ham, where Grant had been assistant manager to Alan Pardew since January, 2004.
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Grant will be in the Loftus Road directors' box for this afternoon's game at Queen's Park Rangers, but if all parties can get the relevant paperwork signed in time, he is expected to take charge for the trip to Birmingham on Tuesday evening.
The new boss will meet the Norwich players for the first time next week - in deference to caretaker Martin Hunter, who remains in charge for today's game.
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“I'm absolutely delighted at the opportunity to manage a great club like Norwich,” said Grant. “I can't wait to get started - I'm raring to go and looking forward to getting stuck into the challenge of getting the club back up the table and challenging for promotion.
“Norwich were the first club to bring me to England as a player and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Carrow Road. It's the fantastic people around the place as well as the massive potential of the club that's combined to tempt me away from the Premiership.”
“I loved my job at West Ham. It was a privilege to coach there and has been a massive help in my development as coach, leading to this opportunity to go on and manage myself.
“West Ham will always retain a special place in my heart and I will miss the staff and players there immensely, I can't thank Alan Pardew enough for the help and support he has given me and I look forward to coming up against him in the Premiership very soon.”
Pardew paid a glowing farewell tribute to his assistant.
“Peter has been the best assistant manager you could possibly wish for,” he said. “He has been loyal, intelligent and has a great work ethic. He will bring those qualities to Norwich and I truly believe will be a massive success there.
“I think everybody at West Ham will join me in wishing him all the luck in the world, we are certainly going to miss him and we send him off with our best regards and certainly on my side, I would just like to say thank you to a gentleman and a top person.”
Hammers captain Nigel Reo-Coker said he believed the players would be sorry to see the popular Glaswegian leave.
“He will be massively missed and is a big loss to the club but I, along with all the players, wish him all the best at Norwich,” said Reo-Coker.
“He has got to make the right moves for himself and this was a fantastic opportunity he couldn't turn down.”
Norwich City have put the shutters up since Nigel Worthington was sacked 13 days ago and were continuing to remain tight-lipped last night, although details of the futures of the remainder of the management team are likely to be made clearer next week when Grant gives his first press conference.
“I am delighted that after a thorough process we have been able to appoint Peter,” was chief executive Neil Doncaster's only comment.