Norwich unveil Hughton as manager
Chris Hughton has been confirmed as the new manager of Norwich City at a Carrow Road press conference.
Hughton, who has signed a three-year contract, said he was looking forward to taking over from Paul Lambert, who left for Aston Villa after guiding the East Anglians to 12th place in the Premier League.
"As soon as the call came, due to the standing Norwich have and their Premier League status it was something that excited me,'' he said.
"It's a good feeling - I've been very excited by the prospect and I'm looking forward to the challenge in front of me. I know this club well. I have come here on many occasions, and it's good to be here."
The former Tottenham player said he was grateful to Birmingham for giving him permission to talk to Norwich, and admitted Lambert would be a tough act to follow.
"What Paul Lambert and the club have done here in the last three years has been a wonderful achievement," he said. "It's a hard act to follow, but this is about the challenge of making progress at the football club.
"It's about the club moving forward. That's not just about the finishing position, but about assuring the club's status for many seasons. I have been very impressed with the conversations I have had with [Norwich chief executive] David McNally on where the club is and how to move forward."
Hughton also said he was keen to keep club captain and top scorer Grant Holt, who earlier this month expressed a wish to leave Carrow Road.
"He is a quality player, no doubt about that," he said. "And with his record - to score the goals he did last season - there wouldn't be any manager coming in who wouldn't want to keep a player of that quality."
McNally said: "We looked at the UK and international market, and had a detailed look at who was available and who wasn't, and we wanted to try to find the person who could take us forward.
"This is one of the best times in the club's history financially, so we think the job is attractive to managers around the world. We thought it was key to have top-league experience, preferably in the Premier League, and at the end of it all we looked at the names and Chris stood out as number one candidate. We recognised that unanimously.''
Norwich asked Birmingham for the go-ahead to talk to the former Newcastle boss, which was "reluctantly" given by officials at St Andrew's on Wednesday.
Compensation, thought to be £2 million, has been agreed, and Hughton's backroom team - assistant Colin Calderwood, coach Paul Trollope and goalkeeping coach Dave Watson - will move with him.
The 53-year-old took over on a rolling contract at Birmingham following their relegation from the Premier League in 2011. Despite player sales and financial constraints, he guided them to the play-off semi-finals, where they lost to Blackpool.
Hughton added: "It was difficult to leave Birmingham. I had a very good year there and the supporters have been excellent with me. It's a wonderful club and I had a good relationship with the staff and the players, so I'm grateful to them for allowing me to have this opportunity.''
Norwich legend Ian Crook, once a playing colleague of Hughton's at Tottenham, said he believes the appointment is the right one for the Canaries.
"He was a smart footballer and in the time he came through it was a team with some great players like Steve Perryman, Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles - he will have learned a great deal from them," Crook, now the head coach at Sydney FC, said.
"They all went on to management and a lot of that team went on into coaching roles. Chris was always one who looked like he would go ahead and do the same. It looks like very interesting times for Norwich."
Villa unveiled Lambert as their new boss at a press conference on Wednesday. The 42-year-old Scot resigned from Carrow Road last week after being denied permission to talk to the Midlands club. Although Norwich refused to accept his resignation, they admitted on Friday that the search for a new boss was under way.
Lambert, who took Norwich into the Premier League via back-to-back promotions from League One, was confirmed as the Villa manager on Saturday.