Mike Phelan is in pole position for the top job at Norwich City

Mike Phelan will prepare Norwich City for the Championship trip to Bournemouth after Neil Adams' res

Mike Phelan will prepare Norwich City for the Championship trip to Bournemouth after Neil Adams' resignation. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Mike Phelan is the leading candidate to succeed Neil Adams as Norwich City boss.

The Canaries' first team coach has been placed in charge of first team matters ahead of the club's Championship trip to Bournemouth this weekend, with a simple brief from City's top brass to revive the club's flagging promotion bid and press his own claims for the big job at Carrow Road.

Norwich's hierarchy want a swift conclusion to their latest managerial search with the transfer window now open as they look to get firmly back into the promotion mix.

Phelan returned to his old club in November after an 18 month absence from the game following his departure from Manchester United's backroom set-up, and Norwich's former title-winning captain heads a list of potential managers to replace Adams who tendered his resignation in the wake of a tame FA Cup third round exit at Preston.

Tim Sherwood and Neil Warnock have also been heavily touted with a Carrow Road switch following Adams' decision to step down with City believed to be focusing their wider search on candidates not in work at present, but Phelan remains high on the club's target list.

Phelan had been linked with a move into management during his exile from the game after his Old Trafford exit, but the 52-year-old made it clear when he returned to Norfolk he was not touting for Adams' job.

'The objectives are always to be on a training ground,' he said. 'You can never say where you want to be, you just have to have the ambition to want to be the best you can. There were a couple more options before this one and it felt right. I've started to get a little bit of a smell for it again. You get out watching games, talking to people again, and then you just wait.'

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Phelan, along with Gary Holt and Tony Parks, will prepare the side for this weekend's test at the title-contending Cherries while the club's chief executive David McNally and City's football executive board step up the managerial search.

Norwich head to the south-coast in seventh spot, 11 points behind Eddie Howe's men.