Already in charge for one match more than he anticipated, caretaker manager Jim Duffy believes the board of beleaguered Norwich City need to make a permanent appointment urgently if they are to prevent their season becoming a struggle for survival after this defeat left them bottom of the Championship.
Norwich gave Duffy a two-match temporary brief after Peter Grant resigned almost three weeks ago but extended his duties last week after failing to find the right man in time for yesterday's match. Last night, Duffy, the former Dundee and Hibernian manager who wasNo 2 to Grant, suggested the club should decide soon who they want to take the club forward, even if his own ambition to step up is not granted.
"I don't know if I will get another game but I would hope that three weeks is enough time to make a decision," he said. "It is important that an appointment is made because whoever comes in will have a tough job and the longer he gets the better. You could see from how we played today there is a lot of work to be done to bring the team up to the required level. West Brom beat us because they are a better side with better players."
Goals by Ishmael Miller and Kevin Phillips gave West Bromwich a victory margin that perhaps did not adequately reflect their superiority. A shot count of 18 to four in the home side's favour told the story more accurately. Indeed, Albion's manager Tony Mowbray felt that, in some ways, his side had missed an opportunity.
"We controlled pretty much the whole game and I'm pleased with another three points," he said. "But I was a little disappointed that we did not score a few more goals because it was a chance to give ourselves a real confidence boost."
Given that they are well placed to launch a promotion bid, lack of confidence might seem an unlikely difficulty but if it stems from anything, it is the difference between Albion's home record and their form away from home. This was their second win in five days at the Hawthorns, where they have dropped only two points from a possible 21 this season. A return of only four points from 18 on the road, however, means they remain outside the top two.
For Norwich, a sixth defeat in seven away from home was on the cards as early as the 16th minute as Albion's early battering of the visitors' goal inevitably rewarded them with the lead. The captain, Jonathan Greening, delivered a corner from the left, defender Bostjan Cesar headed it back across goal and Miller nodded home, the tall, powerful striker, on loan from Manchester City, claiming his sixth goal in seven matches.
Even before then, Norwich had survived a shot driven just wide from Miller and their goalkeeper David Marshall had turned a drive from Phillips over his bar. Only goalline clearances from Darel Russell and Simon Lappin kept the deficit to one at half-time. The result looked assured six minutes into the second half when Miller, with a cross from the left, set up Phillips for the second, Albion's leading scorer taking advantage of woeful marking with a stooping header to claim his eighth goal in nine matches.Reuse content