Diversity void disappoints Norwich's Hughton

Norwich manager Chris Hughton is at a loss to explain why he is the only black manager in England's leading four divisions.

he Norwich City manager Chris Hughton

Chris Powell's sacking as Charlton boss this week means Hughton, who is in his second season in charge at Carrow Road, is the only non-white manager out of 92 Premier League and Football League clubs.

"To be the only black manager in the divisions is something that is really disappointing," Hughton said.

"There's no doubt there is a massive imbalance in those from a playing capacity going through to management.

"There is a really disappointing void and it's our responsibility to make sure that changes.

"I have seen good strides made in general in involvement in football circles.

"What we have found is there are far more black and ethnic (minority) coaches involved at lesser levels - at grassroots level, associated with clubs, at academy level, at under-21 level - but those same percentages don't apply to first-team management.

"I have seen significant work done at other levels. It's good to see some of those balances a little bit more correct at other levels, but it's taking it to the next step, which is mainstream management.

"We all have a responsibility in the game to continue to work and to continue to evaluate why that is the case. That starts from the FA, from the football clubs themselves and the football environment."

Hughton's position has been questioned as Norwich's Premier League position remains precarious.

The Canaries are the only one of the Premier League's bottom seven not to have changed their manager this season.

Four wins would take Norwich beyond the 40-point mark - a total often targeted by Premier League bosses for safety - but Hughton is looking only at finishing the season strongly to ensure top-flight football next term, beginning at Southampton on Saturday.

"We don't know what points (tally) it will take," he added. "The inconsistencies of ourselves and the group of teams around us, I'm not sure anybody at this moment can predict what points it will take.

"We just need to make sure we get the points that we need to make this division more comfortable for ourselves.

"You have to be confident in your abilities and the abilities of the team.

"Are we capable of putting results together that will make life a bit more comfortable for ourselves? Yes, we are, but we have to go and do it.

"There's always that area of concern, because you don't want to be drawn into it and we have to make sure that we're not."

On-loan winger Jonas Gutierrez (calf) and centre-back Michael Turner (hamstring) have returned to first-team training this week and winger Elliott Bennett (knee) will join the group next week as the trio near returns.

Holland midfielder Leroy Fer (hamstring) has resumed light running, but is weeks away from a return.



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