City boss Glenn Roeder tonight insisted that his backroom staff was as good as new after officially welcoming 29-year-old Adam Sadler to the Canary fold.
In fact, it was better than new. That despite Lee Clark's exit to the Huddersfield hot-seat, the new-look 'Team Glenn' was “the best that I have ever had” as Sadler settled into his new role “working alongside Paul Stephenson”.
He would, it appears, “not be named as assistant manager”; he would not be filling the No2 role that Clark enjoyed. And nor, for now, would Stephenson.
“He will be working alongside Paul Stephenson with the seniors as a senior coach,” Roeder explained this evening, with both Sadler and the squad locked away near England's Bisham Abbey training HQ ahead of this weekend's trip to Reading.
Sadler has already made his debut in the City technical area – he was there, shaking his head in disbelief with Stephenson last night as the Canaries lost 2-1 to fellow strugglers Watford.
Last Saturday and he had travelled with the Under-18s for an Academy game against West Ham United; on Sunday he was in the stands watching what Norwich can do on their day with that 2-0 win over Ipswich Town.
So, the one-time Manchester United trainee keeper is already versed in some of the ways of the Norfolk football club – most notably that instinctive ability to shoot themselves in the foot at the very first opportunity coupled to a natural inclination to wrest a morale-sapping defeat from the jaws of a well-deserved victory.
“I thought the last two performances – against Ipswich on Sunday and at Watford last night – were right up there,” Sadler told the club's official website this evening.
“The enthusiasm and the desire to win here is first-rate,” he added.
“We have dominated against our arch rivals on Sunday and again against Watford last night, but not won – somehow.
“But the spirit remains excellent and we've come to Bisham Abbey to work hard in preparation for Saturday's game against Reading.”
Sadler has long figured on Roeder's radar having first bumped into him at St James' Park.
“I didn't give him his first job, but I certainly brought him up the ladder at Newcastle,” Roeder told reporters at Vicarage Road last night.
He was then hoping to bring him up the ladder again at Norwich, only for the Magpies to offer Sadler the position of reserve team boss; the one just vacated by Clark as he made his way down the A1 12 short months ago. At which point Roeder headed off to Hartlepool with P Stephenson's name top of his short-list.
Now, with the football merry-go-round in full swing, Clark has headed back up north again and Sadler has come south after he and Terry McDermott were suddenly surplus to requirements under the incoming Joe Kinnear regime.
“He unfortunately lost his job at Newcastle as reserve team coach – nothing to do with his ability,” said Roeder tonight, as he was left to sweat on both Wes Hoolahan's cold and Carl Cort's international clearance ahead of that trip to Reading.
“I found it a surprise move – that they let go a very talented coach. But their loss will be our gain,” added the City chief.
Fast on his way to completing his UEFA Pro Licence – the highest coaching qualification in the game – it was Sadler's ability to handle the likes of Shay Given and Steve Harper at St James' that alerted Roeder to his potential; that despite his tender years and minimal top flight playing experience, he could still command the respect of two such seasoned individuals.
Given the revolving door that has been St James' Park of late, if Sadler has kept his eyes and ears open then he should have soaked up some valuable lessons from the big names that have passed through Tyneside.
“During my years at Newcastle I worked with seven Academy managers and six first team managers,” he revealed tonight.
“Including people like Sir Bobby Robson, Glenn himself the first time round, Sam Alladyce, Kevin Keegan and Alan Irvine, now at Preston. You can't help but learn from working closely with people like that – you take a little bit from this one, a little bit from that one and you learn as you go.
“I've been fortunate to have had exposure to the ideas and methods of top, top coaches.”
As ever, the Who's Who of Geordie coaching talent that adorns his young CV will only come to mean something in Norfolk if the Canaries start to prise themselves out of the bottom six. That's where this week's coaching merry-go-round will be judged – out there on the pitch.
Sadler appears confident that all will be well in that department; albeit only on the evidence on the last three hours of City football.
“As long as the boys continue in the same vein in terms of performance as they've reached in the last two games which I have seen, it's only a matter of time before the results become more consistent,” he said.
Meanwhile back in West Yorkshire and the Terriers chairman-elect Dean Hoyle was today rolling out the welcome mat for Clark.
“Every manager who is highly regarded in football today needed a break somewhere to get his career underway and I firmly believe that Lee is the man we were looking for,” said the Town chief, with some-time Colney fitness and motivational guru Steve Black arriving as part of the Clark entourage.
“He [Clark] definitely embraces what we want to achieve here at Huddersfield Town. I was looking for a young and innovative manager and he is very keen on the implementation of new ideas and techniques,” Hoyle told The Examiner.
“Lee played a good, quick passing style of football throughout his playing career and he will carry that into management ? that is how he wants his team to play.”
Starting on Saturday with a game against Southend United.