'Why it took us three weeks'
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries chairman Roger Munby has defended the three-week search for a new manager to repair the “touch of crisis” at Carrow Road.Norwich fans have been frustrated at the lack of official news since Peter Grant left the club on October 9, with City only finalising the deal to bring in Glenn Roeder on a two-and-a-half year deal early yesterday morning before he was unveiled to the media at a press conference that was due start at 9am but finally began half an hour later.
Canaries chairman Roger Munby has defended the three-week search for a new manager to repair the “touch of crisis” at Carrow Road.
Norwich fans have been frustrated at the lack of official news since Peter Grant left the club on October 9, with City only finalising the deal to bring in Glenn Roeder on a two-and-a-half year deal early yesterday morning before he was unveiled to the media at a press conference that was due start at 9am but finally began half an hour later.
But Munby said the very time span was proof that the selection process had worked.
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“Two things were important: one is to have fewer people doing the interviews, which left the other members of the board retaining a higher degree of objectivity acting as a sounding board that the interview team could come back to,” he said. “Secondly, we put in a second round interview stage in order that the questions we discussed at first interviews that were significant and important could be probed again at depth. It was different kind of interview but equally important.
“At the end of the day I firmly believe we have the right man. On that I have to bow to the higher authority of results that emerge but I believe at this stage that we have got the right man and therefore since it has taken the amount of time it has taken to get the right man it is an appropriate amount of time.”
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Munby also confirmed that money would be available to the new manager.
“There is finance available to Glenn, both short and long term and it would be not in our best interest and practice to say what this is,” he said. “But if it a reassurance to fans that there is money for Glenn to work then it's there.”
City's search began as soon as Grant walked, with Roeder making a move as soon as he heard the news. He was one of more than 50 applicants, although there were others that City actively sought out. First interviews by a panel of “four or five” were followed by a second round which were concluded on Monday. Roeder was offered the post in the afternoon and negotiations then began to bring him to Carrow Road - with the final details finalised yesterday.
“To select the final group was itself quite difficult but it was a close call in the end but Glenn emerged, he just emerged. When you add all the technical bits of interviewing and you assess all the answers and then you finally add intuition to it, that is the way it works for us.”
So what did Roeder bring to the table that the others didn't?
“It is a combination of relevant experience and a studious approach, a diligent approach to managing and a fiery passionate commitment under the surface which combines to make it a choice we really believe in,” he said. “People will make their own view today, but I hope and I am sure fans of Norwich City Football Club will make their final verdict, their enduring verdict, as a result of results and achievement and performance and that is what we have to put in front of them.”
The first job is to get City out off the bottom of the table, and then out of the relegation zone.
“We need a turnaround and we need it quickly,” added Munby. “Glenn's experience demonstrates he has been in that situation more than once and most latterly at Newcastle United and that achievement needs to be translated to here.
“All of us felt - and this was a unanimous decision as you would expect from this football club - all of us felt that he was the right sort of character to have, to stabilise, to eradicate anxiety and lack of confidence in players, to instil them with confidence and trust in each other. That is important. We felt conclusively that Glenn was the perfect candidate for this job.”
Roeder's join a club at its lowest ebb in years, and with League One football, even at this early stage of the season, staring it in the face.
“I think from the commitment we have to the fan base in Norwich and Norfolk there is a touch of crisis about it, yes, you couldn't deny that,” said Munby. “A number of times recently we have apologised for participating in something that nobody, none of us, would ever have wanted and of course the board members and the senior execs are themselves fans, fervent fans, passionate fans, so we hate the situation we are in, but we have a special responsibility in the positions we hold to pull ourselves out of it.
“Glenn Roeder is going to be a significant element of that. You can apply all sorts of words to it - crisis isn't too far away because it needs to be turned round. We are three points adrift at the bottom of the league and one of the teams above us has a game in hand. That is not pretty, it is no satisfactory, it has to change.”