Premier League - Hughton takes Norwich job

Thu, 07 Jun 16:37:00 2012

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland defender Chris Hughton took over as Norwich City manager and said his immediate aim was to convince top scorer Grant Holt to stay with the Canaries.

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Club captain Holt put in a transfer request when it became clear Paul Lambert, the manager who took Norwich back into the Premier League and to 12th place last season, was leaving for Aston Villa.

"To score the goals that he did last season, I don't think there would be any manager coming in here who wouldn't want to keep a player of that quality," Hughton told a news conference at Norwich after quitting second-tier Birmingham City.

"But I have only been through the door a few minutes. I haven't had an opportunity to speak with him," he added of the striker who scored 15 league goals last season and whose contract has two years to run.

"I need the opportunity to sit down and chat with him but he's a player contracted to this football club, he's been player of the year for the last three seasons so I am very conscious of what he means for this club and absolutely I would like him here."

Hughton spent most of his playing days at Spurs and the early part of his coaching career among the backroom staff at White Hart Lane. He then led Newcastle United back to the top flight as manager before being sacked in 2010.

He will be joined at Norwich by three members of his backroom staff at Birmingham - assistant manager Colin Calderwood, first-team coach Paul Trollope and chief scout Ewan Chester.

Former Spurs defender Calderwood was also with the 53-year-old at Newcastle.

Norwich chief executive David McNally said Hughton was the only candidate they had spoken to once Lambert had made his intentions apparent.

"It was clear, having gone through the detail, that he was the right man for us and we were the right club for him," added McNally who reiterated the club wanted Holt to stay and were not encouraging any offers for him.

Hughton said Lambert would be a hard act to follow but it was a challenge he relished.

"It's about the club moving forward," he said. "It's about the standing of the club, assuring their (Premier League) status for many seasons."

Regarding the budget, Hughton said "bigger conversations" would come and he would have money to bring players in.

"But there's a squad of players here who have fared very well and it's about getting to know them as well," he explained. "There will be decisions to make over a period of time."

Birmingham, reluctantly, granted permission for Hughton to talk to Norwich on Wednesday and thanked him and his team for their efforts over the last year.

"They leave with our best wishes," said Birmingham's acting chairman Peter Pannu.

PA Sport

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