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Creating the new 'Norwich way' will be Stuart Webber's mission

Norwich City Football Club's new sporting director, Stuart Webber. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich City Football Club's new sporting director, Stuart Webber. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

It's easy to see why the Norwich City board opted to make their move for Stuart Webber after deciding to implement a new managerial structure.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdHuddersfield Town manager David Wagner. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The straight-talking Welshman kept the media enthralled with his grand plans for well over an hour as he outlined a bold future for the Canaries at Colney.

Talk of determining and instilling a clear identity in tandem with the head coach who will join him at City this summer was laced with the confidence of a superb season at third-placed Huddersfield Town.

“We had a stage at the start of the season where we won one in eight after a fantastic start at Huddersfield,” Webber explained of his success working alongside David Wagner.

“People were saying ‘you need to play two up front, everyone’s worked out this tippy-tappy passing’. Actually we were playing really well, we’d just lost a couple of games, that’s football. It’s 11 versus 11, a forward misses a sitter, their centre-forward’s goal goes in off his backside, that happens.

“That should not change fundamentally, in my opinion, the way you do it. A big part of me coming here and leading the head coach search is there will be somebody with a very clear identity that then becomes the Norwich way of doing it but not in just chucking the term out there ‘the Norwich way’ or whatever.

“That will be the way we do it and we’ll be honest with people about what that looks like.”

The 33-year-old played for Aberystwyth Town as a right-back as a youngster but started coaching as a teenager with Wrexham. He enjoys watching Formula One when he finds some spare time and even named his 11-month son Sebastian after Red Bull Racing’s four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers head of recruitment is also looking forward to spending more time with his family as they put down roots in Norfolk – including finding new places to walk their dog, a boxer named Bow.

“I’ve got a young family now and all my wife’s family are down south so that played a massive part,” he added.

“For six years, at Wolves and Huddersfield, I commuted from Liverpool for those jobs, so to have a job where my family are with me was a big factor as well.”

Webber plans to whittle down his head coach shortlist to two names before taking his options to the Norwich City board.

“I see it as my job to create a very short list, to go to the board and say I believe it should be this one but let’s speak to these two and ring people,” City’s sporting director said, also ruling out Huddersfield’s David Wagner as an option.

“All I ask from people is a little bit of patience and a little bit of time.

“We’ve got to get this right and no-one’s thanking me or the board if we rush this and get this wrong.”

On his Huddersfield exit, he added: “I’ve had lots of opportunities in the past 12 months to leave and none of them have been right for myself, it was tough, I had a real strong relationship with the owner and to leave him was difficult because he trusted me and he let me do my work.

“If I ever left Huddersfield it needed to be a club where I could go and influence change and affect the club going forward.”

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