So who will be the next Norwich City manager? Four of the runners and riders...
- Credit: PA
Norwich City chief executive David McNally yesterday labelled Neil Adams as a 'credible, serious contender' to lead the Canaries' Championship revival - but who else is in the frame?
Adams is one of the leading potential candidates to replace Chris Hughton at Carrow Road with McNally acknowledging the club's top brass can not afford to get the decision wrong.
'We've got a shortlist. We've got people that we're talking to and people that we've spoken to. Neil Adams is a credible, serious contender, but we are talking to other people,' he said. 'It's not a long list, it's a short list, and we aim to get through that process quickly. There are three or four names on that list, and I'm sure there will be certain candidates come up because they're seen as being available, but we don't look at it necessarily like that. There may well be managers who we're talking to who may well be available, and there may be others who are at other football clubs, so out of respect to them we'll certainly keep things private and confidential.'
City's board were heavily criticised for failing to act sooner and dismiss Hughton prior to the final five games of the Premier League season.
'It's one of those things that you'll never be able to know,' said McNally. 'Let's not forget that there were certain clamours for Chris to go at points throughout the season, but when was the right time, particularly when we've invested more money that we've ever spent in the summer transfer window? For me, that's probably one of the key reasons why we've had such a disappointing season. We didn't improve the squad last summer with our investment, that's clear.
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'Of course, I do understand supporters saying change the manager, and they may well have been right with the benefit of hindsight, but of course that's only a viable consideration if you have a plan B.
'The best times to change a manager and to look at fundamental reshaping of the management team at the football club is during the close season. If we go back to last summer, we finished 11th in the Premier League with the 20th biggest payroll in the league. Those are the facts. We over-performed last year with the financial investment, that's it, so Chris did a good job and most Norwich City supporters accepted that he deserved another go this season.'
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McNally, speaking to the club's official site, is pledging an overhaul of the management structure on the football side.
'We're going to look at our football management structure again, to ensure that we are focusing the manager on managing the first-team and coaching the first-team,' he said. 'We'll strengthen the structure so we're not at the mercy of a manager on all things to do with our future. We will look at how we can ensure that if we do need to strengthen, then that's what we do. I think we're having a good look at it this week. We'll announce in due course, probably around the time that the manager is in place which is a sensible time to firm up on the management structure, but I do think there are perhaps one or two individuals here where too much of the weight of the key decisions of the football club rest on their shoulders.'
Sir Alex Ferguson's faithful deputy in the final years of his dynasty at Old Trafford. Respected coach yet to return to the game.
Clubs played for: Burnley, Norwich, Manchester United, West Brom
Clubs managed: Manchester United (assistant manager)
Given a difficult task with just five games to go but clearly had a positive impact on the players. Not afraid to make some big, big calls on the playing side and tactically astute
Clubs played for: Stoke, Everton, Oldham, Norwich
Clubs managed: Norwich City
Not difficult to see his credentials. Guided Cardiff to the Championship title so knows the course and distance. Former City playing stalwart. Would bring passion and drive.
Clubs played for: Queen's Park, Celtic, Norwich, West Ham, Watford
Clubs managed: Watford, Cardiff City
Certainly would bring an attacking style. Started his coaching career with Italy's U21s but has Championship experience with Watford who he guided to the play-offs.
Clubs played for: Nuorese, Torres, Napoli, Parma, Chelsea, Cagliari
Clubs managed: West Ham, Watford