Norwich City have appointed interim manager Neil Adams to a permanent post as the team start preparations for their challenge in the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship.
The club released an official statement via their own website, stating Adams has the full support of the board members, despite not being the only candidate for the role. The statement cited his desire to win and his willingness to work with younger talents on their way to the first team as reasons for the hire:
As the Board has previously indicated, Neil was one of a number of candidates for the position assessed by Directors as part of a very thorough selection process.
Throughout the process his passion for the Club, his commitment to playing attractive, winning football, his hunger to succeed and his desire to continue to progress young, talented players through to the first team squad shone through.
He has the full and unanimous support of the Board and will receive robust backing in this summer’s transfer window. Announcements about coaching backroom staff will follow in due course.
David McNally, the team's chief executive, said the new manager impressed during his time as interim caretaker, despite his inability to avoid relegation from the Premier League:
Neil impressed us when he stepped up to the plate for the last five games of the season in the most trying of circumstances and he’s continued to impress us during a very rigorous round of talks about the full-time managerial position. He is a very talented coach who is hungry to succeed at Norwich City, playing the kind of football we want to see.
The man himself called his new role an "honour," as he emphasised attacking football and winning as his two main priorities moving forward:
It is a huge honour and I am immensely proud to be confirmed as the Club's manager going forward, and work starts straight away on putting into place the necessary requirements for next season.
The priority is to ensure that attacking, attractive and winning football is once again the norm for supporters of this Club, and it is essential that we now have everyone pulling in the same direction for the challenges that lie ahead.
As shared by Sportsvibe.co.uk's Ian Stafford, the news brings a sudden end to the rumours linking former Celtic manager Neil Lennon to the Canaries:
Ah, well Neil Lennon won't be going to Norwich then. Neil Adams has just signed a 3 year deal to stay on as manager. #ncfc— Ian Stafford (@IanStaffs) May 22, 2014
BT Sport's Jake Humphrey was surprised, but he understood why the club made the decision and called for everyone to have the manager's back:
I wish Neil Adams all the luck in Norfolk. It's certain a surprise I think, but he knows the club & players inside out. Let's ALL back him..— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) May 22, 2014
Of course, there were some who criticised the move:
Norwich clearly stating they have no ambition by appointing Neil Adams as their new manager.— Elliot Hughes (@elliotrhughes) May 22, 2014
Adams didn't win a single match during his period at the helm at the end of the last season, losing four and drawing once at Chelsea.
Is Neil Adams the right man for the job of Norwich City's manager?
But the club was in complete turmoil and looked likely to face relegation when Chris Hughton was sacked, and few expected Adams to really make a difference late in the season.
Adams tried to instigate some changes, including updating the system used for much of the year, but it was of no avail.
Adams' hiring on a permanent basis is good news for those in favour of younger English managers getting a fair chance to prove their worth. The Canaries were a sinking ship when Adams came in charge last year, but with a full summer to work with, there's no telling what the former winger could do with the club.
With players like Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer, Norwich still have plenty of talent to work with, and a swift return to the Premier League should be possible if the squad is managed properly.
Adams will get a chance to prove he is capable of doing just that, but he will be expected to contend for the Championship title straight away. Should his team struggle early, the voices of the doubters will quickly grow louder.