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Out With The Old, In With The Hugh…
CHRIS HUGHTON was today unveiled as the new manager of Norwich City Football Club. As they did when Bryan Gunn left the club, the Canaries acted swiftly to fill their vacancy, with the Norwich hierarchy pinpointing Hughton as their main man.
Prior to his Carrow Road appointment, Hughton was manager at Birmingham City. Under difficult conditions he took them into the play-offs, where they were beaten over 2 legs by Blackpool. He had also enjoyed a successful spell at Newcastle United, taking charge after relegation and bringing them back to the top flight, winning the Championship title along the way. Perched 11th in the Premiership, Hughton was rather harshly sacked as manager and subsequently replaced by Alan Pardew.
Sporting an impressive 55.71% win ratio during full-time charge at Newcastle United and a commendable 41.94% at Birmingham City, Hughton has a decent record for wherever he’s been in charge – it’s now to be seen whether or not he can replicate it during the 2012/2013 season at the helm of Norwich City.
After almost a delay of an hour, McNally and Hughton emerged in front of the media, with the latter being unveiled as the new manager of Norwich City.
Speaking on his predecessor, Hughton said, “It’s a wonderful achievment to rise from League One to the Premier League, and it’s a hard act to follow.”
“It’s about moving forward and making progress. Not for one season, but for many seasons. I’ve been very impressed by the conversations I’ve had with David McNally and the board. It’s a question of assessing the current players and seeing where we can strengthen.”
When asked about Grant Holt, Hughton was under no illusions as to the skipper’s importance to Norwich City, “Grant Holt is quality, absolutely I want to keep him at the club. I understand the media want to know, but I’ve only been in the door a few minutes I’ll have to sit down and have a chat with him. He’s still contracted to Norwich City, he’s been player of the year 3 seasons running. I’m concious of what he means, absolutely I want him here. But it’s not about one player, it’s about a squad of players.”
Hughton confirmed that Colin Calderwood would be following him as assistant manager, with Paul Trollope as first team coach and Ewan Chester in a scouting role. The new manager stated he was delighted, knowing they will work as hard as himself to achieve what they want to at Norwich City.
The questions moved to City’s chief executive David McNally, who elaborated on the selection process that led Norwich to appoint Chris Hughton.
“That’s football!” Said McNally when asked about the nature of his previous manager’s departure, before going onto state, “We looked at the market, in the UK and international and quietly as a board we looked at contenders. We had a detailed period of review as to who was available and who wasn’t. We’re a progressive club and it was important to find the person to take the club forwards. Chris joins us at one of the best times in the club’s history financially. A key point was the manager having top level experience, preferably in the Premier League. This was a detailed part of the process, looking at names, Chris stood out as number one choice. It was unanimous, we approached Birmingham who were very professional. We didn’t speak to anyone else, Chris was the right man for us.”
“We want Grant to stay,” McNally said when asked about the skipper, “We would like Grant Holt to stay, he is under contract, not for sale and we are not encouraging anyone to make offers. At the end of the day where we end up is where we end up. We have 24 other senior players, it’s important for all of them to have a chat with Chris.”
“It’s all about tomorrow and the next day” smiled McNally, reassuring City fans the future is certainly bright.
Hughton continued outlining his duties, “The Club has got itself into a good position in the league, and it’s my responsibilty to sustain that and do the best job I can. I’ve been brought up on a passing game, but I know you’ve got to adapt. You have to win games, and to do that you need goals.”
McNally confirmed that Hughton had signed a 3 year deal at Carrow Road.
So that’s that, welcome to Norwich City Chris Hughton, here’s to the future!
And a bit of player reaction for you, recently married John Ruddy tweeted:
John Ruddy @Johnruddy86
Very much looking forward to working with Chris Hughton & his staff, heard nothing but good things. Can’t wait to get started.
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