Keep looking over your shoulder, Alan Irvine warns Norwich City’s squad

Norwich City interim manager Alan Irvine insists the stakes are still high.
Picture: Paul Chesterto

Norwich City interim manager Alan Irvine insists the stakes are still high. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alan Irvine is warning Norwich City's under-performing squad no-one is safe as new sporting director Stuart Webber gets ready for a major summer overhaul.

The Canaries slumped to a 3-1 Championship defeat against Fulham on Good Friday but ahead of Easter Monday's gruelling trip to Irvine's old club Preston, the Scot is reiterating the stakes are high.

'Are they playing for their futures at the club? Absolutely. If I was a player that would sharpen my focus,' he said. 'I can't see why it wouldn't. Clearly it isn't a case there is nothing to play for. Whether you under contract, out of contract or with an option you are playing for your future.

'If you out of contract and don't impress you won't get a new one, likewise an option won't be renewed. If you are under contract replacements can be looked for. Everyone should be completely motivated by that, on top of the normal professionalism you should be showing anyway.

'These four games are important. Every time you go out there you are assessed by a lot of people. But there is an extra reason in this situation.

'I said to them before the last game and the (Fulham) one they are on trial. That, in my view, is exactly what they are. They have to be at a level where they can be part of the future at this club. Yes, they are being assessed. There is absolutely no question of that. Stuart is in the building now and he has been able to formulate his own opinions about them from close range.'

Irvine's own Norwich future is yet to be decided beyond the end of the current season, but it is his past that will be in his thoughts as he returns to North End.

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Irvine guided the Lilywhites to Championship safety in 2008 before the following season plotting a promotion push that ended in a play-off semi-final defeat to Sheffield United.

'I still get very well received. The fans I bump into are great with me,' he said. 'The last time I went there I got a standing ovation. I don't seek that, I am not that type of person, and I will only enjoy it if the performance is good.

'It is going to be another very tough game because Preston have done extremely well. I am looking forward to it.

'The last time I went back I got a fantastic reception so, from a personal point of view, it is going to be great.'