Football: Walker leaves Carrow Road

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The Independent Online
MIKE WALKER was a sad man after his second spell in charge at Norwich City came to an end yesterday.

The former Everton manager left the struggling First Division club, which he once took into Europe, by "mutual consent" according to the board of directors - but Walker implied he had been sacked.

Norwich, who are 16th in the table, ended their relegation fears by recording 5-0 victories in their last two home games, but before that they had gone 14 games without a win.

Walker, who returned to Carrow Road in June 1996 following his first successful spell at the club, still stood by his record. "I am bitterly disappointed, to say the least," he said. "They have decided to make a decision which is their prerogative and, at the end of the day, that's the way it is. I think I have worked hard under trying circumstances this year, but the decision has been made. Whoever comes in is going to be a reasonably lucky man."

The Canaries' vice-chairman, Roger Munby, claimed Walker had gone now to give the club plenty of time to find a replacement who could take them back to the Premiership.

"We chose this timing, the earliest possible time, to give ourselves the best possible chance of setting out with the right recruitment policy," he said. "We want to deliver the right manager able to deliver our number one objective - the Premiership."

The assistant manager, John Faulkner, will take charge of team affairs for their final game against Reading on Sunday.