Chris Hughton fired as Norwich manager
Published 06/04/2014 | 20:21
Norwich have sacked Chris Hughton and his backroom staff after back-to-back defeats left them in a relegation dogfight in the Barclays Premier League.
Saturday's 1-0 home loss to fellow strugglers West Brom proved the final straw for the Norwich board, with a daunting run-in meaning their current five-point cushion over the bottom three offers little comfort.
The Canaries announced their youth coach Neil Adams, who guided the young Canaries to FA Youth Cup glory last year, has been named first-team manager.
The club said in a statement on their website: "Norwich City can confirm Chris Hughton, Colin Calderwood and Paul Trollope have parted company with the club with immediate effect - and former Canary winger and FA Youth Cup-winning coach Neil Adams has been appointed as first team manager."
Norwich travel to 18th-placed Fulham on Saturday for a potentially decisive game, before finishing the campaign with matches against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Norwich added in their statement: "Chris's achievement in guiding City to an 11th-place finish in the Premier League last season was an excellent one and he has represented the club with dignity throughout his tenure.
"However the recent run of four defeats in our last six Premier League games and six consecutive away league defeats, left the club with no choice but to act, with five games still to play in the current campaign."
The 48-year-old Adams will now be entrusted with the task of keeping Norwich in the Premier League.
A title winner with Everton in 1987, he spent six years as a player at Carrow Road and joined the Norwich coaching staff after finishing his playing career at Oldham.
Adams said: "To say that I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity of managing Norwich City Football Club would be a massive understatement.
"People know what this club means to me, and so it goes without saying that we will be doing everything possible to ensure that we maintain our top-flight status for next season.
"These final five games will be a huge test for us, and everyone must step up to the mark. But with the full backing of these magnificent Norwich supporters we will have every chance of achieving our objective."
Norwich have hovered around the lower reaches of the table all season, thanks in large part to a consistent struggle for goals - their tally of 26 in 33 games is second lowest only to Crystal Palace who have at least shown more resilience in defence since the appointment of Tony Pulis.
Last summer, Hughton spent a reported £8.5million to sign Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon and £5million to bring Gary Hooper from Celtic, while also adding Johan Elmander on loan, but none of the moves have paid off .
Hooper has just five goals in 28 league appearances, a poor return which is nevertheless significantly better than the one each that Van Wolfswinkel and Elmander have managed in 22 and 26 appearances respectively.
Club captain Russell Martin had called for everyone at Norwich to pull together after the loss to West Brom.
There were ugly scenes inside and outside Carrow Road following the final whistle, when hundreds of clapper boards - which had been put on the seats to help improve the atmosphere - were thrown onto the field, one even hitting Hughton.
Hughton later said he felt supporters would not have deliberately aimed for him, and insisted the team's fortunes hurt him as much as any supporter.
Stewards had to intervene when England goalkeeper John Ruddy confronted one supporter behind the goal in the Lower Barclay Stand, while Martin will also speak to club officials after he was involved in a heated exchange with a fan.
Boos and chants of 'We want Hughton out'' rang out at full-time, while a group of Norwich fans later gathered outside the main entrance to vent their frustrations at the boardroom.
Martin, who helped Norwich climb up from League One under former boss Paul Lambert, said after the game: ''This is now a time more than ever to stick together. It hurts us as players.
''We are as disappointed as anyone in this stadium. It means as much to myself, to John (Ruddy), people who have been here a long time and played a lot of games for this club and we need them more than ever. They need to get behind us - it is as simple as that.
''I can understand it, because some people have been supporting this club for many, many years. But, regardless of how you feel about the management or the players, as a football club you get behind each other.''