Hughton: We'd have stayed up
Former Norwich manager Chris Hughton says he is confident he could have kept the Canaries in the top flight had he not been dismissed on Sunday.
And League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan has slammed the timing of the decision to sack Hughton.
Norwich parted company with Hughton on Sunday after Saturday's 1-0 loss at home to West Brom left them a precarious 17th in the table, five points clear of the drop zone but with a daunting set of fixtures remaining.
And Hughton has released a statement which read: "I am naturally very disappointed to have lost my job, but immensely proud to have served as Norwich City's manager.
"I understand the recent frustrations, but I remained totally confident that we were on course to create history at the club and move into a fourth consecutive season in the Barclays Premier League.
"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.
"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. However, what goes without saying is that I sincerely wish everyone connected to the club, from the owners and the board through to the supporters, who are the essence of every club, all the very best for the rest of this season and into the future.
"Norwich City is a great club and I feel honoured to have had the privilege of being its manager."
Norwich now face a crucial match at Fulham on Saturday under the care of new boss Neil Adams before tackling Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in their final four games.
But Bevan thinks the club were too hasty to remove Hughton and 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 enjoyed an excellent first season in charge by guiding the club to 11th in the Barclays Premier League, which was their highest finish in 20 years.
"Chris has an excellent record of managerial success, initially with Newcastle and later with Birmingham before he joined Norwich, 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."