Norwich City unveil new head coach blueprint

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls wants to be bold in the search for a new head coach.
Picture: Matthe

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls wants to be bold in the search for a new head coach. Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City will consider an overseas appointment to recruit the right head coach.

The Canaries' board aim to install a sporting director next before stepping up their mission to find Alex Neil's long term replacement at Carrow Road.

Huddersfield Town's head of football operations Stuart Webber has emerged as a strong candidate for that post, after playing a leading role in an impressive Championship season for the Terriers under German head coach David Wagner.

Norwich chairman Ed Balls insisted the club's top brass have an 'open mind' over who to target to succeed Neil, but the prospective head coach must buy into the new model, which has seen Steve Stone take over as managing director.

'We don't want someone who comes in saying I see you have an ambition to go the sporting director route and the vision for the academy and tells us they want to do it a different way,' he said. 'An old-fashioned way of doing it, if you like. If they say they don't want to play football how Norwich City want to or a sporting director is nothing to do with me that is not the sort of person we want to hire.

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'The sporting director will be part of that decision. In terms of whether we favour young or old, British or international we have a very open mind on that. We have a lot of players from overseas and there is no reason we could not have an overseas manager. I don't think age should be a factor. It is about being flexible and willing to embrace state-of-the-art ideas. If they are not willing to embrace sports science, nutrition, a willingness to play young players then they are not for us. We want a head coach who is going to be excited to be a part of this.'

City opted not to pursue the likes of Gary Rowett or Mark Warburton following Neil's dismissal.

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'We wouldn't be professional if we didn't have knowledge of who is out there,' said Balls. 'What the strengths and weaknesses are of not just of the people who have been speculated about on social media but the people we have been thinking about.

'We brought in Alex Neil because he had been on our radar for months before that hire occurred. We have a capacity to do that work now but it is the sporting director appointment we have moved more quickly on in the past couple of months.'

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