Alan Irvine is bullish over Norwich City’s prospects

Evolution not revolution for Alan Irvine at Norwich City this summer. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus

Evolution not revolution for Alan Irvine at Norwich City this summer. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alan Irvine warns Norwich City must not 'dismantle' a squad that is good enough to challenge for Championship promotion.

Irvine is waiting to see if he is part of the Canaries' leap forward, when they unveil a new head coach, but his 10-game spell in charge convinced him better times are ahead at Carrow Road.

'It is a very good club, it is capable of going into the Premier League and staying there,' he said. 'It is a new start, a new structure and people should be excited by that. The fact it is new and different doesn't guarantee it will be better, but I feel confident there are better times ahead for the club than this season.

'It is not a massive, total clear out. That is not needed. Let's replace the players who have left with lads that can improve the squad. That is not easy. I have no idea who the head coach will be or where he will come from. If he doesn't know the Championship already how quickly can he do that to make the right decisions in terms of who to bring in? If you go out and panic buy you can get it wrong so the next man has to fully understand what he wants, to make sure any changes make the squad stronger and better, not to dismantle the whole squad. That is not necessary.'

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Sporting director Stuart Webber has already sanctioned the release of seven senior players to trigger the process of refreshing a squad that missed out on the Championship top six.

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'I fully understand the reasons for turning around the lads out of contract,' said Irvine. 'That makes sense from a club point of view, from a financial point of view, but there doesn't need to be anything too drastic moving forward. Yes, there are areas that need to be strengthened and those players who have left leave big holes.

'There are a lot of very good players here. We have seen in the 10 games I was involved in some good quality performances. We have the nucleus of a very good squad. Norwich should be challenging next season. I believe we should. I would expect Stuart and the new head coach take the opportunity to make what changes they can and try to freshen up the squad and be one that definitely competes for promotion, rather than might compete.

'They will be contenders and I would hope the work Stuart does ensures that Norwich will be.'

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