So who will be the next Norwich City manager? Four of the runners and riders...

Former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay is a leading contender to take over at Norwich City. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire Former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay is a leading contender to take over at Norwich City. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
1:58 PM

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?

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson holds the match ball with assistant coach Mike Phelan (right) during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 29, 2012. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson holds the match ball with assistant coach Mike Phelan (right) during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 29, 2012. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

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.

New Norwich City manager Neil Adams takes his first pre match press conference at Colney where the player facing the media was Robert Snodgrass.
Photo by Simon Finlay.New Norwich City manager Neil Adams takes his first pre match press conference at Colney where the player facing the media was Robert Snodgrass. Photo by Simon Finlay.

“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.”

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.”

Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
24/09/2013
Watford Manager Gianfranco Zola during the Capital One Cup match at Vicarage Road, Watford.Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 24/09/2013 Watford Manager Gianfranco Zola during the Capital One Cup match at Vicarage Road, Watford.

THE CONTENDERS

Mike Phelan

Sir Alex Ferguson’s faithful deputy in the final years of his dynasty at Old Trafford. Respected coach yet to return to the game.

Age: 51

Clubs played for: Burnley, Norwich, Manchester United, West Brom

Clubs managed: Manchester United (assistant manager)

Neil Adams

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

Age: 48

Clubs played for: Stoke, Everton, Oldham, Norwich

Clubs managed: Norwich City

Malky Mackay

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.

Age: 42

Clubs played for: Queen’s Park, Celtic, Norwich, West Ham, Watford

Clubs managed: Watford, Cardiff City

Gianfranco Zola

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.

Age: 47

Clubs played for: Nuorese, Torres, Napoli, Parma, Chelsea, Cagliari

Clubs managed: West Ham, Watford

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