Cameron Jerome’s barbed post-match comments regarding a lack of respect to the management, following last weekend’s mauling at Sheffield Wednesday, triggered the end game, but Norwich Chirman Ed Balls insisted a clean break was best for all parties.
“Listen as a board or a chairman it is difficult to get into the weeds of that. Some players would have been happy, some not but that holds true at any football club,” said Balls, speaking prior to Saturday’s Rovers draw. “When he arrived he had the respect of the players to do what we did, but the reality is week after week of poor performances take a toll. You only had to look at the pain in the Cameron Jerome interview, as in Russell Martin’s after Brighton. I don’t think it was players losing confidence in the manager. It just wasn’t working.
“There were lots of fans who felt we should have made the change in the autumn. We looked at that hard, often clubs who change manager quickly regret that decision and many fans and media felt in January he could turn this around. Realistically Burton, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City were poor. It is clear the players felt that as well. The qestion we had to ask ourselves as a board was, we need to plan for next season, we need to hit the ground running in the recruitment process and we felt Alex was not the right man to lead that. It was a long term strategic decision not a knee jerk reaction. We couldn’t sit on our hands for a couple more months and then start it in June or July.”