Jewell is early front-runner
DAVID CUFFLEY Norwich City today played the traditional straight bat to questions over the likely identity of their next manager - after former Wigan boss Paul Jewell emerged as the early favourite to succeed Peter Grant.
Norwich City today played the traditional straight bat to questions over the likely identity of their next manager - after former Wigan boss Paul Jewell emerged as the early favourite to succeed Peter Grant.
Chief executive Neil Doncaster refused to comment on reports that bookies' choice Jewell had already been sounded out over the post.
Grant left the Canaries on Tuesday night by mutual consent, four days short of completing a year in the job. His assistant, Jim Duffy, is in temporary charge of the first team ahead of the next game at home to Bristol City on Saturday week.
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But, just as he did 12 months ago, Doncaster said there would be no comment on candidates until an appointment was made.
“Speculation about individuals at this stage is not helpful and we won't engage in it,” he said.
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“There is going be that sort of speculation over the weeks ahead. That is part of football. I'm not going to be drawn on any name whatsoever.
“When we've got something to report we'll report it, but names being linked to Norwich City Football Club we will not comment on.”
Jewell, 43, took both Bradford City and Wigan into the Premiership, either side of a brief and unhappy spell as Sheffield Wednesday boss.
He took Bradford into the top flight in 1999 and they held on to their status the next season with a last-day victory over Liverpool, but Jewell then moved to newly-relegated Sheffield Wednesday, where he lasted just eight months.
He returned to management with Wigan in 2001. They won the former Division Two championship in 2003 and were promoted to the Premiership in 2005, finishing 10th in their first season in the top flight. They avoided relegation with a 2-1 victory at Sheffield United on the last day of last season, but Jewell immediately resigned to take a break from football.
Jewell, who scored the winning goal for Wigan in an FA Cup tie against the Canaries 20 years ago, has been linked a return to management at Bolton, where Sammy Lee has struggled, and at Leicester, where ex-City boss Gary Megson was eventually appointed.
Doncaster admitted City already had a string of potential applicants for the job. Within hours of Grant's exit being announced, there had been interest from “high calibre individuals”.
Asked whether managing City, third from bottom of the Coca-Cola Championship, was still an attractive proposition, Doncaster said: "Yes. The level of interest that we've already had in this position reflects that.
"There are a lot of high calibre individuals who have expressed an interest in this position and that's not surprising.
"I don't think talking about numbers is going to be helpful because that will change hour by hour. In the two hours I've been away from my office, I'm confident some more will have arrived."
City's annual meeting takes place at Carrow Road next Thursday, but Doncaster would not predict whether a new manager may be in place to introduce to shareholders.
He said: “We are keen to make an appointment as soon as we can but we're certainly not going to be rushing it purely because we've got an AGM coming up next Thursday.
“We will put together a recruitment process but I can't give you the details of that process today.”
He added: “Our position in the league table is just one of the factors that makes this appointment so important.
“We're not naïve enough to think that there is a perfect manager out there. Certain managers are right at certain times for certain clubs."