‘This is the last throw of the dice’ - Norwich City supporters call for a united front after sacking of manager Chris Hughton
10:05 07 April 2014
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Norwich City supporters have called for a united front from fans in the club’s crunch final five games of the season - following the sacking of manager Chris Hughton.
Hughton was axed last night to be replaced by former city winger Neil Adams, a day after ugly scenes at Carrow Road during the 1-0 defeat to West Brom.
The defeat was met with a crescendo of boos, ‘Hughton Out’ chants, a demonstration outside and verbal confrontations between players and supporters.
Reacting to the news today, fans said it was important to forget Saturday and pull behind the team for the remaining games, starting with Fulham away on Saturday.
Nev Townsend, chairman of the Forces 2 Canaries Supporters Group, said that although he had thought it was too late to dismiss manager Chris Hughton, he admires the club for their “leap of faith” and fully supports Adams.
He added: “This is the last throw of the dice – we have five games left and Adams has nothing to lose. I think the club has hit rock bottom and so I welcome it and support Neil 100pc.
“I am shocked – although we were calling for the change since around Christmas. The writing was on the wall and I just didn’t think that Hughton had what it takes.
“The change might be what we need to get the points to see us safe.”
City supporter Mel Lacey said: “I don’t doubt that Chris Hughton is a nice guy, but his football decisions, tactics and the way he has been running the team has mystified me.
“Neil is a club man and he may or may not have had the experience at this level, but he will certainly have the enthusiasm. The players need their spirits lifted.
“He knows the club inside out and everybody knows him. I sincerely wish him well.”
Ben East, of Northern Canaries, said: “I think this had to be done. The atmosphere at Carrow Road meant that no-one truly believed that we could get any more points this season.”
The decision will improve fans’ confidence that the team will avoid relegation, according to Mr East.
He added: “It just seemed that we were slipping towards relegation and Neil Adams is not the sort of guy to let the players go down without a fight, so I am behind him.”
Robin Sainty, who is on the board of the Norwich City Supporters Trust, said that although he was surprised by the timing of the decision, there was a “certain amount of inevitability” about it.
“Something definitely broke yesterday in terms of the bond between fans and players. The decision is a massive gamble, as it would have been to stay with Hughton but the good thing about it is that there’s always the possibility that you might get a short term reaction – and that’s all we need,” he said.
Mr Sainty added that although Adams lacks experience at the level, the change “might generate a little bit of momentum”.
However, supporter Matt Wallace said that although he supports the change, he is concerned it may have come too late.
He added: “A little bit of me thinks that this is after the horse has bolted and that we should have done this some months ago.
“Appointing a youth coach is a bold move, but I think it is one that the majority of fans support. He knows the squad inside out. Time will tell but I am behind him.”
Another supporter who echoed the sentiments of fellow canaries was Donald Parish of the London Canaries.
Although Mr Parish said that he was “staggered” at the of the decision, he didn’t believe things could get any worse.
He said: “People were properly convinced we were going down. From that point of view it is hard to argue that it wasn’t worth a go.
“I think everyone will now go to Fulham excited that it could be a now start. I definitely now have more faith we can with there.”
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