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Chris Hughton: I could’ve saved Norwich from drop

DISAPPOINTED: Chris Hughton was sacked by Norwich (PA)

CHRIS HUGHTON has spoken about his disappointment about being sacked as manager of Norwich with only five games remaining until the end of the season, while he claimed he could have kept them in the top flight.

The Canaries currently are five points clear of the drop zone, but Hughton oversaw four defeats in his last six games and the Norwich board decided to remove him following months of speculation that he would lose his job.

In a statement released via the League Managers’ Association (LMA), the 55-year-old former Ireland international said: “Collectively we were ready for the challenge that the final five games presented and we believed we would reward the club and the supporters by achieving that objective.

“I understand the recent frustrations, but I remained totally confident that we were on course to create history at the club by retaining our top-flight status and move into a fourth consecutive season in the Premier League.”

He added: “I am naturally very disappointed to have lost my job but immensely proud to have served as Norwich City's manager.

“Over the last two seasons many new players arrived at the club and it has been a period of transition.

“But I would like to put on record that the commitment and work ethic shown by them, together with the players still retained from when I was appointed, has been exceptional.

“The same applies to my coaching and backroom staff, whose contribution has been immense.

“I now wish to reflect before preparing for the next challenge. Norwich City is a great club and I feel honoured to have had the privilege of being its manager.”

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: “We are all very disappointed for Chris and in particular with the timing of his dismissal.

“We must recognise that Norwich City has come a long way in a very short space of time and that just four years ago they were competing in League One.

“Chris has an excellent record of managerial success, initially with Newcastle and later with Birmingham.

“So it is with regret that we see one of our top English managers being dismissed without being given the opportunity to see out the season.”

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