NORWICH, England (AP) — Norwich sacked manager Chris Hughton and his backroom staff Sunday and replaced him with former player Neil Adams in a bid to keep the club in the Premier League next season.
The decision came a day after a 1-0 home loss to fellow struggler West Bromwich Albion, which left Norwich in 17th in the Premier League standings, just five points above the relegation zone after losing four out of its last six matches. Four of the team's remaining five games are against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal — by far the toughest run-in of any of the relegation-threatened teams.
Norwich said in a statement it parted ways with Hughton and his staff "to give the club the maximum chance to secure the points required between now and the end of the season to ensure retention of our Barclays Premier League status."
The 48-year-old Adams was promoted from his previous post as under-18 coach. He played 206 matches for Norwich between 1993 and 1999, having won the league with Everton in 1987. "To say that I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity of managing Norwich City Football Club would be a massive understatement," Adams said. "People know what this club means to me, and so it goes without saying that we will be doing everything possible to ensure that we maintain our top-flight status for next season.
"These final five games will be a huge test for us, and everyone must step up to the mark. But with the full backing of these magnificent Norwich supporters we will have every chance of achieving our objective."
Hughton guided the Canaries to 11th place last season, and Norwich said "he has represented the club with dignity throughout his tenure." "However the recent run of four defeats in our last six Premier League games and six consecutive away league defeats, left the club with no choice but to act, with five games still to play in the current campaign," the club's statement said.