Adams faces daunting task to keep Canaries singing

first_imgBy Josh ReichNorwich City sit five points above the relegation zone but new manager Neil Adams will be eyeing a daunting fixture list nervously as he seeks to ensure Premier League survival for the Canaries.Previously youth team coach, Adams was promoted to the top job on Sunday when Chris Hughton was sacked after nearly two seasons in charge, the club finally losing patience following a number of limp performances that culminated in a 1-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion the previous day.The change comes with just five matches remaining in the season, leaving Adams to navigate a tough run of fixtures beginning at Fulham, one position below 17th-placed Norwich, followed by games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.Having spent three seasons in the Premier League, four losses in the last six matches convinced the board a managerial change was needed if the team was to summon the resolve to make it a fourth.Despite enjoying some positive results in February, Norwich’s performances had become increasingly listless, with Hughton’s job coming under scrutiny following a number of public utterances by chief executive David McNally.Adams, who made more than 200 appearances for the club and guided Norwich to the FA Youth Cup last year, is undaunted by the task ahead, however, and has backed the team to do what was required to avoid the drop.“People know what this club means to me, and so it goes without saying that we will be doing everything possible to ensure that we maintain our top-flight status for next season,” he said in a statement on the club website (“These final five games will be a huge test for us, and everyone must step up to the mark. But with the full backing of these magnificent Norwich supporters, we will have every chance of achieving our objective.”NORWICH HOPEFULNorwich will be hoping a change in manager will provide the necessary boost in fortune but as their rivals in the relegation scrap have shown, a new face in the dugout does not guarantee success.Sunderland, who face Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, replaced controversial Italian Paolo Di Canio with Gus Poyet in October when they had mustered one point from seven matches.They are still bottom, albeit with three matches in hand, but still have to play Everton and Manchester City.Nineteenth-placed Cardiff appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in January after a period of turmoil at the Welsh club when predecessor Malky Mackay fell out with owner Vincent Tan.They were one point above the relegation zone at that stage, but after just two wins in 13 matches, are six off Norwich and seeking divine inspiration to avoid an immediate return to the second-tier Championship.“We need to produce a miracle to stay up now,” the Norwegian said after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace, one club who have benefited in a change of manager when Tony Pulis replaced Ian Holloway.“I am full of fight. If you produce a miracle – that sometimes happens in football – you are still capable of getting out of this and staying in the Premier League.”Fulham are onto their third boss of the season in German Felix Magath, following the sackings of first Martin Jol and then René Meulensteen.Saturday’s win over Aston Villa lifted them off the bottom to 18th on 27 points, one ahead of Cardiff and two above Sunderland, with Hugo Rodallega’s 86th minute winner giving Magath hope that all was not lost.“We take the win in the last minutes and that is a signal for everybody that we are fighting. We want to stay in the league.”West Bromwich Albion, level on 32 points with Norwich, have finally found some form under Pepe Mel.It took the Spaniard eight matches to record his first win at the club however, a wait Adams and Norwich will be desperate to avoid if they are to keep out of the bottom three come the end of the season.last_img read more