Stuart Webber is up for the challenge at Norwich City
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Norwich City’s sporting director Stuart Webber admits he has taken on a bigger challenge than even he imagined when he left Huddersfield Town last season.
Webber appointed head coach Daniel Farke and has overseen a huge turnover of players at Carrow Road as he looks to equip the German with a squad to compete at the top end of the Championship.
“It is a huge challenge. Miles bigger than I probably thought originally,” he said. “It is good and enjoyable and something that is achievable. There is so much expectation from the supporters, which is good. You are just trying to balance that off with being realistic. At the end of this season our wage bill won’t be in the top six. Last season it was probably only behind (Aston) Villa or Newcastle. Without being a doom monger or making excuses you have to deliver a dose of reality, but we also know we have players who can play in the Premier League and the top of this league.
“Swapping Huddersfield for Norwich I’ve noticed there is a perception, when you deal with agents - because this club had been in the Premier League for a number of years - they think we have so much money to spend. We can’t get anywhere near those levels, which limits the type of player you can go after. We have to work harder than others. We can’t go and bring in John Terry, because he will help us defensively, or adopt Middlesbrough’s approach and spend £40m to try and get out of this league.”
The bulk of City’s recruitment for this window is now done.
“Both Daniel and I believe we need a squad where every player feels they are close to playing,” said Webber. “If you are number 22 to 26 in the pecking order of outfield players then you are so far away from even the bench. How de-motivating must that be and draining for those lads coming to training? I felt that as an outsider looking at it last season. If you have a tight-knit group, like we have now, they all feel they have a chance of playing. I think it looks a lot healthier in terms of size and balance although we know it is far from perfect. Speaking to players who have been here for many years if you talk about the spirit, togetherness and hunger it is one of the best it has been for a while. We had to thin out the numbers.”