West Bromwich 2 Norwich City 0: Miller and Phillips give wake-up call to Norwich board

Click to follow

With their club at a new low this morning, the clamour from Norwich supporters to see a new manager in place in time for next Sunday's East Anglian derby is likely to reach a deafening pitch over the next day or so.

Saturday's defeat at The Hawthorns was such a stroll for the home side that, with a little more hunger in their play, they might have doubled their score and more. As it was, Norwich cleared three efforts off the line. Bottom of the Championship after 13 matches, largely because the seven played away have yielded only one point, they face the prospect of a fight to stay out of League One only two and a half years since they were hobnobbing it in the Premier League.

A board charged previously with lack of ambition now stands accused of dithering, given that Peter Grant resigned as manager three weeks ago. They might argue that they are taking care to make the right appointment. Either way, the man who remains in temporary charge, the one-time Dundee and Hibernian manager, Jim Duffy, believes that both directors and supporters need to accept that the club's tumble into hard times will not be corrected overnight.

"I've not been here all the time, but maybe there have been a few things under the surface that have not been quite right," he said. "That's not something you can solve with a quick fix."

The names linked with the vacancy include Paul Jewell, Steve Staunton, Ian Holloway and Martin Allen. Duffy, who has also coached at Portsmouth and Chelsea, is himself a contender, although, having supervised three straight defeats in his interim role, he realises he might not be first choice.

"I do want the job but I would understand the fans if they want someone to come in who they think can lift the players," he said.

First priority surely will be to fix a defence that Albion breached by barely breaking sweat. Ahead through Ishmael Miller's close-range header after 16 minutes, they doubled the lead when Kevin Phillips nodded home six minutes into the second half.

The strike pair, a potent combination of Phillips' know-how and the strength and vigour of the 20-year-old on loan from Manchester City, have eight goals each in all competitions, although their manager, Tony Mowbray, wants more, particularly from Miller.

"He needs to be hungry," Mowbray said. "I don't want him to be content with getting one. I want him to be chasing hat-tricks and headlines."

Norwich were quite content to see him leave that for another day.

Goals: Miller (16) 1-0; Phillips (51) 2-0.

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Albrechtsen, Cesar, Robinson; Brunt (Teixeira, 60), Greening, Koren, Morrison (Gera, 60); Miller (Beattie, 76),

Phillips. Substitutes not used: MacDonald, Pele.

Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Otsemobor, Murray, Shackell, Lappin; Russell, Spillane, Huckerby, Smith (Chadwick, 80); Cureton (Croft, 76), Martin. Substitutes not used: Gilks (gk), Strihavka, Jarvis.

Referee: P Joslin (Nottinghamshire)

Booked: Norwich City Spillane, Murray.

Man of the match: Miller.

Attendance: 20,247.