Duffy: Manager decision needed ASAP

CHRIS LAKEY Jim Duffy has urged Norwich City's board of directors to fill the managerial vacancy before it's too late.


Jim Duffy has urged Norwich City's board of directors to fill the managerial vacancy before it's too late.

The Scot presided over his third defeat in a row on Saturday, at West Brom, which almost certainly put paid to his hopes of getting the job, and says the players are in desperate need of leadership.

“It's important now that they do make a decision,” said Duffy. “Players have to be given direction, they have to be advised how someone wants them to play and how they see them playing and to help that process. Supporters have to be given some positive feedback.

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“We know for a variety of reasons the directors are entitled to take their time, but I think it will be three weeks on Tuesday since Peter (Grant) left and you would like to think that that would be enough time for them to make a decision. Hopefully, for the benefit of everyone in the club, they can make that decision in the early part of next week.”

Duffy says there is no overnight fix for City's predicament.

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“If you try and throw or gamble a load of players in there and hope that in the mix a few of them fit, I don't think that is the right way to do it,” he said. “I think you have got to show an element of patience and try and build the team.

“You are not going to go out there and be able to buy five £1m players, that's impossible, those resources are not available, so you are going to have to take time.

“It doesn't take a week or a game or a training session, it takes time. Whether whoever gets the job will get that time remains to be seen, but the first thing they (the board) have to do is get it quickly. You need as much time as possible.

“It is a slow process. If we try and get to West Brom's level too quickly, you make too many mistakes. You have got to try and get to it, that is the level you want to aspire to, that level of performance, but unless someone is going to throw a ton of money at it then you have to build and that is something that we will have to do.”

City were dumped in bottom spot by the time they kicked off at The Hawthorns on Saturday, thanks to QPR's surprise win at Charlton, ensuring the new manager's job is all about survival.

“It is up to whoever gets the job to roll their sleeves up and make sure that the players, first and foremost, fight for the cause and hopefully drag themselves up to a better position in the league.

“But it is going to take a huge effort from everyone, from the management and coaching side, but particularly the playing side because the players have to accept a certain amount of responsibility. Of course I will accept my part as well, but I think everyone has to take a shared responsibility. If we all accept mistakes have been made and we can learn from them perhaps we can dig ourselves out from this situation.

“There are an awful lot of matches to go, but you don't want to be looking at the table at any time to find yourselves at the bottom. It is not good for confidence, it brings criticism from the media and the press, and deservedly so, we are not trying to hide from the fact.”

Duffy believes the return of several key players will help City cause, with Dion Dublin and Adam Drury joining Mark Fotheringham on the injured list, and Chris Brown absent because of sickness.

“If we had had those four or five players in the squad you would be coming up here probably a lot more confident than you may have been,” he added.

“Get those players back, add maybe two or three in that can maybe give you a little bit extra quality in the central area and you then get a chance.

“It's just grinding out a few results -the first thing you have to do is grind results out. Get any kid of result just to get a foothold in the league and start to target people and once you turn that round someone else gets these kind of question and that spotlight on them. It deflects the spotlight away and when that happens players are a bit more relaxed. It's while you are there and while you are not doing well you have this continuous spotlight and the players are there like a rabbit caught in the lights, not wanting to make a mistake.”

As for Saturday's defeat, there was little to explain aside from the obvious.

“We played a very good side,” he said. “They were better, you can't disguise that fact.

“In the first half we barely performed, it was just last-ditch tackling and good goalkeeping that kept us in the game. But in terms of anything creative we didn't really have much spark. Second half I think we were better, we changed the shape at half-time and that helped us a little bit, we managed to at least stem the flow a little bit.”

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