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Media Briefing: Stuart Webber's talking points

5 October 2017

On Wednesday, Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber met with members of the local media to discuss the Canaries' start to the season.

A summary of the topics covered can be found below.

Webber on his first six months
"It has been a challenge. In terms of the turnover in staff, that has been much bigger than I expected; the turnover of players not so much.

"That was the least daunting bit, but the financial situation we are in now and what it could be in the future is a massive challenge.

"That is why it is paramount myself and Steve Stone work closely together to plan and make sure the transition without parachute payments [at the end of this season] is as soft as possible to allow Daniel and his staff to focus on the players.

"It is a challenge I am enjoying and embracing and looking forward to conquering. That is the aim."

Webber on defeat to Millwall
"It is in those moments you have two options, you scrap what you are trying to do and chuck it away or if you believe in it you work harder.

"We did the latter. That has been proven over the last month with the turnaround in results.

"The performance is not quite where we want it to be and we are certainly not settling for where we are now. I understand any supporter who was down after Millwall, but just as we don’t get too carried away now it was the same back then.

"We had played seven games. There will be other dips and in those periods we will remember to stick to the plan that we have invested in. It is not going to be a smooth road.

"Daniel and I speak after every game the following day and talk about it in detail. That didn’t happen any differently after Millwall than Sheffield United.

"We know what happened at Millwall was pretty bad. Daniel said it was unacceptable but they could have beaten Leeds three or four in their next league game.

"It is how we react to those days. We might have another Millwall at some point. That is life."

Webber on the ups and downs
"After Millwall we didn’t throw ourselves in the Thames and after Reading we didn’t go on a three-day bender celebrating.

“This is the Championship. You play a lot of games; you win, you lose. The key is can you see us going in the right direction?

"I might have been an idiot saying it after Millwall, but there had been a lot of progress in those first two months. People maybe didn’t see that in terms of results and I get why we are judged at 3pm on a Saturday, but there were a lot of seeds sown.

"We have seen them grow a bit in the last month. Can we grow them further now?"

Webber on togetherness
"The work ethic at the training ground has gone through the roof. That is credit to the players who were here before and they have embraced it.

"If I look back six months ago did I think we could implement that culture as quickly as we have? Probably not.

"We still have a long way to go. We have made small steps but we are going in the right direction. The road will continue to be bumpy. We have made progress on the pitch and off it.

"People don’t tend to see that stuff but ultimately it will translate into what we do on the pitch. Short-term it is about results but we want sustained success in the future.

"It feels a lot longer than six months. I think we have made a lot of progress and a lot of good decisions.

"We have made mistakes, of course, but if you look at the target when we first came in it was to find a coach who would implement a certain type of football philosophy that we can build a club upon.

"I think we have achieved that. Daniel would be the first to say it is not perfect but we know what the culture is, to be open with the supporters."

Webber on Tom Trybull
"He's done fantastically and proved a good signing. We have an option on him, which obviously helps us.

"It is not right to talk about Tom's contractual situation more than any player. All I will say is we are fair and if people do well for us then we will do pretty well for them.

"Tom will be no different. It is still early days in his Norwich City career. At the moment he can do no wrong but we have to be ready to protect him. 

"Tom's challenge is, can he sustain it? Can he now do it for 40, 50 or 60 games. He is lucky to have an outstanding coach who believes in him.

"Daniel fought for the opportunity for him. He came through very much on Daniel's advice.

"I think Tom epitomises what we are trying to do as a club. We want people who are hungry, whether you are 24, 29 or in the Academy."

Webber on the Academy
"We can quash any rumours about closing the Academy down. It is a massive part of what we are trying to do moving forward.

"We have done an internal review and we want to strip back what we don’t do well. We have to address those areas and change.

"The Under-23s team needs to become our second team. You perhaps saw the first signs of that with Adam Phillips on the bench at Brentford in the League Cup.

"The academy is a huge passion of mine but we have to get it right because it is paramount. We want to invest more. I don’t mean financially, because in truth in The Championship we have to cut our cloth accordingly and that applies to the Academy.

"We need to invest more in terms of effort, energy and passion to the Academy. It was highlighted with Jacob’s sale and the emergence of Josh what can happen if you get it right. For a self-funding club, as we are, we ultimately rely on trading players.

"It is far easier to do that with a young player than someone in their late 20s. It was part of the reason for bringing in Daniel; his ability to improve young players."

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