‘I will be immensely proud but there is no time for sentiment’ - Neil Adams on his Norwich City managerial bow at Fulham
Neil Adams will allow himself a brief moment to grasp the enormity of the situation at Craven Cottage before focusing on the business of keeping Norwich City in the Premier League.
Adams’ professional life has shifted dramatically since answering the board’s call to replace Chris Hughton on Sunday, but the new man feels he is read for the challenge.
“I’ll be immensely proud,” he said. “It’ll be a nice walk across the pitch to the dugouts on the far side and I believe we are going to have 4,000 plus supporters present. The response from them has been fantastic, but once we reach the touchline we have to try and get three points. Once that is done we are working and there will be no time for sentiment.
“When you are here 20 years it is your club. I’ve played, coached and now managed them and it has been a whirlwind for me.
“I experienced the media attention on a smaller scale last season on the FA Youth Cup run which attracted 22,000 to Carrow Road, but where we are now is the highest it gets at domestic level. I am fine with that. I am confident in my own ability and in the conversations with the players and what they have seen from me on the training ground I am confident they know what I am about.”
Adams has forged a coaching reputation based on a forensic attention to detail and City’s players will get all the knowledge they need to try and overcome Fulham.
“We have to leave no stone unturned for five games and this is a 24 hour a day job. You are thinking about the slightest thing that can give you an advantage, whether with your own team or the opposition,” he said. “It feels like I have been here for weeks not four days. Every available minute you have to work. It doesn’t stop when you drive out of the gates at the training ground. You get home, get the DvDs out and get on the internet to research things. You get a million and one phone calls and texts. It doesn’t stop but that is what we are all here for when you first set out as a coach and you progress through the ranks. I would by lying if I said I’ve just gone home to chill out and relax, but I’ve enjoyed it immensely. You want to go as high as you can and you won’t get any complaints from me at how hard you have to work if the end result is what we all want. ”
Adams knows ending Norwich’s desperate losing run on the road is a top priority, and to that end he must unlock the scoring potential of his strikers to help find the answer.
“For whatever reason, whether it’s a lack of confidence or a lack of opportunities, the plain fact is we haven’t score enough goals,” he said. “It is a team game and if you rely solely on your strikers then you could be in a little bit of trouble. The team needs to score more goals. That is something we are looking at. If the strikers get the goals then fantastic, but I don’t care who does if we win the game. Of course, we will be looking at that but the top sides score goals from everywhere.”