Alan Irvine to stay in charge of Norwich City for at least another three games
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alan Irvine confirmed on Friday afternoon he will be in interim control for Norwich City's upcoming three Championship games - starting with Saturday's trip to Aston Villa.
Irvine was initially given a two-game brief, following Alex Neil's departure, picking up four points from home games against Blackburn and Barnsley, before extending that at the start of the international break to the trip to Villa Park.
The experienced Scot revealed City's top brass have now asked him to stay at the helm for another full week as they look to recruit a sporting director. Huddersfield's head of football operations, Stuart Webber, is the man Norwich want at the helm of their footballing structure as they look to thrash out a suitable compensation deal with the Terriers.
But Irvine is happy to continue leading City's outside bid to gatecrash the play-offs, with Norwich five points behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday ahead of the final eight league games.
'I have been told I will be looking after Villa, Huddersfield and Reading and then I would get an update after that,' he said. 'My brief is still the same. Keep things nice and steady, look after things until the changes are made. A lot of people maybe in my position would have seen it is a job application scenario. I have not approached it in that manner.
'I said right from the beginning I would not be applying. That is still the situation. I read after the Barnsley game Jonny Howson said nothing had changed and that pleased me. That was the instruction I was given. I wasn't asked to change anything.'
Irvine delivered a positive injury bulletin over Wes Hoolahan with with the Republic of Ireland international set to return to training after this weekend following a thigh injury that ruled him out of the international action.
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'Wes isn't ready yet,' said Irvine. 'He will probably join in training on Monday. He was close but hasn't trained with the rest of the group. All being well over the weekend he will join in Monday and we will assess him from here. We didn't think it was going to be longer than that but certainly there was going to be a problem for the Republic qualifier. He is a really important player for us and the last thing we want to do is rush him back too early and cause a major problem that keeps him out for the rest of the season. We have seven games this next month and it is important he is available for as many of those as possible.'
Michael Turner and Louis Thompson are longer term injury absentees and Matt Jarvis and Ben Godfrey will play in Friday's Premier League International Cup semi-final against Sunderland's U23s at Carrow Road. Mitchell Dijks is also in that development squad as he serves the second of a three match ban that rules him out of contention this weekend for the seniors following his red card against Blackburn prior to the international break.