Latest: Stuart Webber on Norwich City head coach search; Michael O’Neill a non-runner
PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:17 09 May 2017
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Stuart Webber is closing in on Norwich City’s new head coach but Michael O’Neill is not on his shortlist.
Webber confirmed he is looking to unveil Alex Neil’s replacement by the end of the month, but the Northern Ireland boss is not in the running after being heavily touted with the Carrow Road vacancy.
Uwe Rosler, Garry Monk and David Wagner have been linked and Webber is also casting his net into Europe.
“I fully expect in two to three weeks we will be in a position to do something,” said Webber. “That is the timeframe we gave ourselves and that is what we are working towards. It allows us to speak to people more formally now. We have to respect the fact European leagues are still going, domestic leagues, in terms of play-offs, are still going, and although it would be nice to crack on with it we had to respect the fact there are clubs out there who are now at key stages of their seasons. I don’t think we can overlook leagues abroad. Look at the top five or six in the Championship this season and they are foreign coaches. We would be stupid not to embrace that. They are all different clubs and do it in different ways. It doesn’t mean we will, but a club of our size has to be open-minded to find the best candidate.
“We have spoken to the board about the type of person we are looking for and within that is a list of people we feel fits what we are trying to do as a club. That allows us to narrow things down. We want people who have done it in the way we are looking to go.”
O’Neill, however, does not fit the profile.
“We have not spoken to Michael,” said Webber. “We know his work and he has done fantastically. We had a couple of his players, now we have only the one, and he has done amazing things with Northern Ireland but he is not someone we have spoken to and we don’t plan to speak to him.
“It is about nailing the board’s vision. It can’t just be Stuart Webber is here now, he’ll get someone and on we go. It has to be a decision made together and we then back it. My job is to recommend a head coach and I understand I am under pressure to get it right. I am not deluded in that respect. They must have a clear way of working on and off the pitch. The players need to have that clear identity of what is required, the staff know what is expected of them, and just that clarity really. Not a coach who changes from result to result or when the pressure comes on. A strong footballing belief that fits in with our club.
“When we appointed David (Wagner) at Huddersfield that was a key factor. There was a guy who brought in a strong footballing philosophy and we could build a club around that. I might line manage from certain aspects but in terms of day to day implementing that culture that is the head coach’s responsibility. That is key. A lot of coaches have a wishy washy approach.”
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