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Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber rules out returning to Huddersfield Town to poach head coach David Wagner

PUBLISHED: 17:27 07 April 2017 | UPDATED: 21:44 07 April 2017

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

Stuart Webber will not be returning to former club Huddersfield Town to poach head coach David Wagner for Norwich City.

The Canaries’ new sporting director spoke to the media at Colney this afternoon to reveal more about his role, the club’s new structure and his plans for appointing a head coach.

When asked if he had drawn up a shortlist while on gardening leave during the past week, Webber said: “No, I’ve been here a day. I’ve had a lot of complications leaving my former club and that’s taken a lot longer than I first anticipated. Because of the legalese of that I wasn’t able to do any work, so the garden’s thankful for it but probably I’m not.

“I meet with the board this afternoon for the first time, obviously we’ve spoken while going through this process, but that’s when we’ll really start getting into the detail of what does the next head coach look like and from there I’ll go on and make my recommendations.”

After his success in guiding Huddersfield to the upper echelons of the Championship this season alongside Wagner, the German coach has featured highly in speculation about who will become City’s head coach under Webber – but the 33-year-old says that will not be the case.

“No,” he said simply when asked about Wagner, later clarifying that no agreement was in place with the Terriers to prevent such a deal. “I’ve literally met with a couple of members of the board, we’ve got a meeting this afternoon where I need a little more clarity on what does it look like in the short term, medium and long term.

“Everyone knows that there’s got to be some changes here but how quickly they need to be, I’m waiting for some answers.”

While the Welshman is just getting to know his new surroundings – leaving Alan Irvine in interim charge of the team for tomorrow’s Carrow Road fixture against Reading – and discussing his plans with the City hierarchy, he was able to provide further detail on how his new role at the club will work.

Confirming he will be based at Colney, Webber stressed he will not be involved on the training pitches or on match-day, but will be planning ahead to ensure a balanced and high quality squad for the new head coach to work with, overseeing the football side of the business.

“I’m certainly not a mingler!” he joked. “Whether that’s with players or anyone else, that’s not my style. I have to have a relationship with the players, I have to be someone that they can trust and speak to and one thing that I always say to players or staff that I’ve ever worked with is that I’ll look you in the eye and I’ll give you an honest answer.

“You might not like the answer but at least I’ll be honest with you and all I want is that back. So any player that I speak to, all I want is honesty from them and they’ll get it back.

“I’m not here to be players’ friends, I’m hopefully here to be respected by the players and the players will have the respect from myself but the difference is at the end of the day that there is a line and when you’re sat in a position like mine at Huddersfield and here, some people’s career and livelihood are in your hands a little bit and with that you have to take a way a little bit of the emotion because that can cloud your decisions.

“I’ve never yet made a decision on sentiment and I’ve no intention of starting now, it has to be what’s right for the football club taking it forward and if that’s difficult decisions, unfortunately that’s life and they’re decisions you have to make.”

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