Parkinson in pole position
Phil Parkinson has emerged as a major contender to take over the helm at Norwich City. Reports suggest that Parkinson, number two to Alan Pardew at Charlton, has been interviewed for the job, while Stoke manager Tony Pulis continues to be linked with the vacancy.
Phil Parkinson has emerged as a major contender to take over the helm at Norwich City.
Reports suggest that Parkinson, number two to Alan Pardew at Charlton, has been interviewed for the job, while Stoke manager Tony Pulis continues to be linked with the vacancy.
Parkinson's credentials would seem to bear up to scrutiny having masterminded Colchester's promotion into the Championship in 2005-06. The 39-year-old spent an ill-fated five month spell at Hull after leaving Colchester, moved to The Valley in January to take over as Pardew's assistant, but has been linked with a number of clubs in recent months, including south London rivals Millwall.
If Parkinson did take the City job, it would be the second time that Pardew has lost an assistant to the Canaries, following Grant's defection from West Ham in October last year.
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Meanwhile, if City harbour any hope of persuading Geraint Williams to leave Colchester they are going to have to get past chief executive Marie Partner, who issued a hands-off warning yesterday.
Mrs Partner revealed that City had made no approach for Williams.
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“For George (Williams) to be approached, Norwich would have to go through the right channels, and I can confirm that no contact has been made,” said Mrs Partner.
“To be honest, I would hope that George would not even consider the Norwich job. He's quite happy being the number one at Colchester. I know he was devastated with Tuesday night's result at Ipswich (a 3-1 defeat), like we all were, but it's his great belief that we have a lot to achieve this year.
“He doesn't want to hang his hat elsewhere, and because he spent so long as a player at Ipswich, I don't think he'd like to go to their deadliest rivals, Norwich.”
Williams confirmed: “If there was any approach, I would have heard it from Robbie Cowling (chairman and owner), and I have heard nothing.
“I wasn't interviewed for the Norwich job on Tuesday. I was at Ipswich - honest.”
And Steve Staunton's sacking as Republic of Ireland manager this week means he may well enter the race - a link that may grow because of the time he spent playing alongside Dion Dublin during their Aston Villa days.
While the speculation continues the Canaries top brass did not make matters any better by giving out conflicting messages last night over the timing of the new managerial appointment.
Chief executive Neil Doncaster told a sometimes stormy fans' forum at Diss Football Club that the board were trying to resolve the situation quickly.
But chairman Roger Munby said he could not guarantee that a replacement for Peter Grant would be in place before the derby clash at home to Ipswich a week on Sunday.
Pressure is mounting for the club to fill the hot seat vacated by Grant two-and-a-half weeks ago.
“We are trying to get the process done absolutely as speedily as we can while trying to get the right candidate,” said Doncaster.
“We had interviews last week, we had further interviews this week. We are close to making an appointment and we hope to make one in the near future.”
However when asked if a manager would be in place for the derby clash, Munby said: “I can give you a prospect but I can't give you a guarantee.
“We are looking for the best man possible and that man might not be immediately available to us.”
Munby also dodged a question asking whether the club was able to attract someone like Paul Jewell, who remains one of the favourites to take over.
“I don't think it is fair to the people or the process to name individuals,” he said. “We will be attracting the best possible managers according to the criteria. We are doing our best.”
Since Grant left the club 17 days ago, City have lost both games under the guidance of caretaker manager Jim Duffy and could find themselves bottom of the Championship after tomorrow's trip to West Bromwich Albion - a match which Duffy will again be in charge of.