Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Bowkett: Pressure comes from within

Chris Hughton's Norwich have lost four of their first seven league matches
Chris Hughton's Norwich have lost four of their first seven league matches

Norwich chairman Alan Bowkett maintains the club are not about to make a "knee-jerk reaction" following a frustrating start to the new Barclays Premier League season - but warned manager Chris Hughton that dealing with constant pressure is all part of his job.

The Canaries find themselves in the enviable position of having paid off all external debt after sustaining their place in the top flight last season, with the latest set of accounts published for the year end May 31, 2013 showing a profit after tax of £500,000.

Bowkett feels from such solid foundations there is no reason why Hughton's squad - currently in the bottom three following four defeats from the opening seven Premier League matches - should not go on to challenge for a top-10 finish following a summer which saw the manager handed an unprecedented budget for player transfers, including the club-record £8.5million purchase of Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

"We all put the pressure on ourselves, and Chris certainly does," Bowkett said.

"The reality is you just look at knee-jerk reactions in football and the consequences, there are football clubs recently in the news who have had several managers and look where they are.

"I was talking to my wife the other day when she said: 'you know I feel a bit sorry for Chris', so I told her 'do you realise how much these guys get paid?'

"It (pressure) is part of it - if you want a good job with a nice pension, then go work at City Hall."

Norwich chief executive David McNally accepts the Norfolk club will never be able to compete with the big spenders of the new Premier League era, but sees no reason why with careful planning they should not be able to consolidate a place at the top table.

''The most important thing in our business is to be brilliant in football recruitment of the players and be focused on bringing the right talented young men to this football club,'' McNally said.

''That is what we have endeavoured to do in previous years and again this summer.

''We need to punch above our weight when it comes to recruitment, because there are plenty of richer clubs around than ourselves.

''Football is changing and moving forwards so quickly that if we are not at 100 miles an hour, we will be toast because there are lots of very rich people involved in this league.

''They are very clever and good at what they do, so we need to be better because we are not as rich, we need to be nimble on our feet.

''The back office needs to be great, the front office needs to be great and the players need to make the contribution which their salaries justify."

McNally added: ''There is money available for January if we need to go into the market, but that is always a difficult time to trade sensibly."

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