Four in the frame

PUBLISHED: 09:36 12 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:43 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City are close to making an announcement over the identity of their new manager.

Reports yesterday suggested there were seven names in the frame, but the Eastern Daily Press understands that City have completed interviewing applicants and that they have now got a short-list of four names.

Norwich City are close to making an announcement over the identity of their new manager.

Reports yesterday suggested there were seven names in the frame, but the Eastern Daily Press understands that City have completed interviewing applicants and that they have now got a short-list of four names.

It is also understood that the club received more than 100 applications for the role vacated by Nigel Worthington on September 30. It is a list which includes a number of former players, including one still playing.

However, although a short-list has now been drawn up, it appears unlikely that a new face will be revealed to fans before the game at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

That means coach Martin Hunter, who has been put in caretaker charge of the team and has admitted he would like the job on a full-time, has the chance that none of the other applicants has - to prove his credentials first hand.

A report in The Sun newspaper yesterday suggested that former Doncaster manager Dave Penney is among the favourites, while joint majority shareholder Delia Smith has spoken to West Ham's assistant manager, and former Norwich player, Peter Grant in London.

It also reported that Ian Crook has flown in from Australia, where he is assistant to Terry Butcher at Sydney FC, but that there has been no contact with bookies' favourite Mark Bowen.

Former Rangers boss Alex McLeish is said to be out of the running, although all speculation is complicated by the fact that West Brom, too, are looking for a man to succeed Bryan Robson - and their shopping list contains a number of names supposedly in the frame for the Carrow Road job.

City have been refused permission to speak to Southend boss Steve Tilson, but that doesn't mean he is out of the race - his comments to the media certainly suggested he was more than interested in talking, even if his chairman wasn't.

Former Canaries defender - and ex-Southend manager - Rob Newman believes the Blues should give Tilson the opportunity to speak with City.

“Tilly has earned the right to talk to Norwich,” said Newman, who spent five years at Roots Hall as a player and manager. “What he has achieved at Southend over the last few years is second to none and he deserves this massive opportunity.

“I'm not saying he should leave Roots Hall, but he should be able to make up his own mind and speak to Norwich. He has performed miracles on a shoestring budget and I know the club is very close to his heart. But opportunities like the Norwich job don't come up every day and he needs to make the right decision.

“He doesn't want a fantastic chance like this to pass him by, because he might not ever get another one.”

Whatever the situation between Roots Hall and Carrow Road, Tilson still features with the bookmakers, although they are pretty much sticking to their guns, with Bowen still favourite to take charge, followed by Kevin Blackwell, McLeish and Hunter.

However, City are sticking by their 'no comment' mantra - leaving fans to continue playing the managerial guessing game.

Canaries chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are not commenting on any speculation about the process or about the prospective candidates. As soon we have something to announce we will announce it.”

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