‘Norwich City had stopped progressing’ – Jake Humphrey backs decision to axe Chris Hughton

Jake Humphrey was speaking at the Spring Fling, which he was attending as the outgoing president of

Jake Humphrey was speaking at the Spring Fling, which he was attending as the outgoing president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. - Credit: Archant

Norwich City were right to sack Chris Hughton, according to TV presenter Jake Humphrey, who says the club had 'stopped progressing' under him.

Norwich City were right to sack Chris Hughton, according to TV presenter Jake Humphrey, who says the club had 'stopped progressing' under him.

The BT Sport frontman said change at the top was needed to halt City's slump, but questioned whether it had been done in time to save the club's Premier League status.

Speaking at the Spring Fling, where he appeared as the outgoing president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, the 35-year-old said he felt the club would have been relegated had Hughton been left in charge.

He said: 'I think it was probably time to make a change of manager: I don't think it was working out.

'You always need to see progress at a football club and Norwich, as far as I'm concerned, had stopped progressing.

'The football was probably getting worse: it was less entertaining, we were scoring less goals, we were picking up less points.'

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Mr Humphrey said the Canaries' survival hopes now rested on new boss Neil Adams' motivational powers.

'I just hope that Neil can do something to lift the squad and inspire them in the last few games,' he said.

'I wasn't very optimistic about us staying in the Premier League with Chris Hughton as manager and I thought that perhaps from the last five games we would pick up a point, and I don't think that's going to be enough.

'If Neil can just create a little kick among the players and just lift them a little bit then we can go out and get a draw at Fulham, who are a bogey team of ours, and then look to do something against one of the big teams, as we did last season against Manchester City.'

But he questioned whether the Norwich City board had acted in time, after backing Hughton earlier in the season only to wield the axe on Sunday night. The decision leaves Adams with just five games – against relegation rivals Fulham on Saturday, then Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal – to save City's season.

'If it had been three or four months ago, would it have given another manager an opportunity to come in and lift the players?' asked Humphrey.

'What you do get now is a short, sharp shock. The players will now know: new boss, five games, stay in the Premier League and you can be heroes. So we shall see what happens.'