Ed Seaman’s Norwich City column: Big chance for Irvine

Columnist Edward Seaman
Columnist Edward Seaman
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With the club’s search for a new sporting director still ongoing, it would seem Norwich City are no closer to appointing a new manager.

Now that’s not to say there isn’t plenty of work going on behind the scenes, with reports suggesting it is a case of when, rather than if, Stuart Webber arrives from Huddersfield.

And neither is it a complaint. Upon Alex Neil’s departure, I called on the board to take their time, with the focus now very much on next season.

But what it does provide is an opportunity for Alan Irvine, who is likely to be in charge for both the trip to Aston Villa tomorrow and Huddersfield on Wednesday night, to show City’s season isn’t over and in turn make a case for himself to stay in the hotseat a while longer.

Now while I still maintain it would take a minor miracle for City to reach the play-offs, if Irvine manages to close the gap any further in the coming week with two positive results, I may have to reassess that, and the club may have no choice but to give him the role until the end of the season. And who could blame them?

At this stage, it is still a very hypothetical scenario, one which would of course require a major upturn in City’s woeful away form.

But with only a handful of City players selected for international duty, Irvine has has had two weeks to stamp his mark on the squad and plot victory at Villa Park.

I hope he goes for something different, after all things can’t exactly get any worse on the road.

Wes Hoolahan’s injury, combined with Nelson Oliveira’s return, would tempt me to start with two up front.

We saw Neil give it a go at Wigan — with some success — and if Irvine can get Oliveira and Cameron Jerome on the same wavelength, for me that’s a recipe for some goals.