David Wagner: Norwich have verbal agreement with ex-Huddersfield boss to become new head coach | Football News

Norwich City have a verbal agreement with ex-Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner to become their new head coach.

Contracts have yet to be signed, but the 51-year-old should be in place to take charge of the team for the first time on Sunday when Norwich host Blackburn in the FA Cup third round.

The former Schalke boss is available immediately having been sacked by Young Boys in Switzerland in March despite the team sitting second in the Swiss Super League.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Watford

Sky Sports News has been told Norwich interviewed four candidates for the role, following the sacking of Dean Smith last month.

But Wagner’s experience in getting Huddersfield promoted from the Championship and then keeping them in the Premier League the following season was a key factor in his favour.

Wagner knows Norwich’s sporting director Stuart Webber well – the pair worked closely for two years at Huddersfield, when they won promotion.

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Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber explains the decision to part company with Dean Smith and the criteria his replacement must meet

Wagner’s track record of nurturing young players and his passing style of play also suits the Norwich hierarchy.

The German now look set to become Norwich’s third head coach in 14 months.

The Canaries are currently three points off the Championship play-off places after suffering a 1-0 home defeat at Watford on Monday.

Webber: We had to sack Smith

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Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber tells Sky Sports why the club had no choice but to part company with Dean Smith

Norwich sporting director Webber has told Sky Sports News the club had no choice but to sack Smith – and want to announce his replacement this week.

Smith was sacked after their 2-1 loss at 10-man Luton Town on Boxing Day.

“There’s a number of factors but the atmosphere especially in the second half (vs Blackburn) was difficult for the players to perform,” Webber exclusively told Sky Sports News. “I thought Dean didn’t deserve that but the fact is, that’s what happened.

“We also had to look at performances in the main. Were they at the level we’d hoped that they would be? As always there are mitigating factors for that when you get relegated. It’s difficult sometimes to turn the mentality around, you get used to losing so you’ve got to get used to winning again.That’s easier said than done however strong you think the squad is.

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Norwich caretaker manager Allan Russell was left frustrated with his team’s defeat at Watford and said that the club are looking to appoint a new manager soon

“But ultimately, when we approach the halfway point in the season, we felt that we had to make a change. The performance at Luton and the fan reaction, it was there and certainly played a part. As we came into two important home games with Reading on Friday and Watford, we had to do something to try to change the mood and the direction our season is going in.

“The top two have gone a long way away from us in the last two or three weeks and we’ve got to make sure, if we can, to try and keep somewhere near them. If not, certainly to not drop out of the play-off places.

“We felt that, could we stick [with Smith] longer? Yes. Would we have liked to? Yes, because we believed in Dean and what he was ultimately trying to do, but then when we put all the factors together when I sat with Dean and spoke to him, it became a decision that we probably felt was in the best interests of the football club and probably of Dean as well at that point.”

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