Opinion: Mark Robson’s exit only works if Norwich City move forward

Norwich manager Neil Adams and his former first team coach Mark Robson at Chelsea in last season's P

Norwich manager Neil Adams and his former first team coach Mark Robson at Chelsea in last season's Premier League draw. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Decisive as Norwich City's call was to dismiss Mark Robson on Monday it inevitably raises more pressing questions.

Robson was a key ally for Adams alongside Gary Holt when the duo were unveiled during the summer as first team coaches to support the new manager.

The 45-year-old had accepted Adams' invitation to step in on a temporary basis when Chris Hughton was dismissed five games from the end of the club's failed Premier League campaign. Now he is deemed surplus to requirements.

The intervening period and in particular the recent games appear to have placed an arduous strain on the relationship. City's desperate search to re-gather the winning momentum from the opening weeks brings everything into sharper focus.

Adams is under pressure, his players are under pressure, Norwich's board is under pressure. It should come as no great surprise that level of heightened scrutiny applied to Adams' backroom staff.


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The only way Norwich can plot a route back to the Premier League is with a common sense of purpose and a strong unity. If the dynamic between Robson, Adams and Holt had started to fracture then a separation was the only outcome.

It really is less about the loss of a popular, likeable, respected first team coach than the impact on a dressing room which has failed to perform anywhere near its collective capabilities during a prolonged downturn that now increasingly prompts many to question the wisdom of City appointing from within.

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I sat down with Adams at Colney ahead of that first Championship game of the new season against Wolves, when there was so much optimism and goodwill towards the new Canaries' boss.

Yet Adams looked weighed down with the burden of Norwich's current plight when he emerged minutes after the final whistle at the City Ground on Saturday.

This is a man who cares passionately about his club and restoring their top flight status. But he needs help from below and above.

During the course of that pre-season conversation I asked him how he would cope through the bad times and the obvious accusations he was too nice or too inexperienced to take the top job. His response was unequivocal. No one questions the experience of men like Jose Mourinho or Arsene Wenger.

He is right but Adams would benefit from a support network, a sounding board, another voice that includes someone who has been there and experienced the buffeting from poor results and a critical public.

If Robson was not that man, then City should be applauded for engineering a clean break. But the focus now shifts to who fills the void and they must be equally decisive.

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