Norwich sack David Wagner as manager after playoff hammering by Leeds

<span>David Wagner on the touchline at Leeds during his final game as manager of Norwich. </span><span>Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images</span>
David Wagner on the touchline at Leeds during his final game as manager of Norwich. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images

Norwich City sacked David Wagner hours after they were thrashed by Leeds in Thursday’s playoff semi-final second leg, with the club keen to embark on a fresh approach. Defeat abruptly ended Norwich’s hopes of a return to the Premier League.

Norwich were always minded to make a change this summer and an abject performance in a 4-0 defeat triggered action from the hierarchy. They are likely to appoint a younger head coach.

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Norwich’s sporting director, Ben Knapper, will lead the recruitment process. Knapper, formerly the loans manager at Arsenal, where he worked closely with Edu, will also have to deal with expected offers for key players such as Gabriel Sara and Jonathan Rowe, with both admired by top-flight clubs.

Norwich made the playoffs despite a slow start – they were 17th in November and supporters voiced their disapproval – but Wagner was always on borrowed time. The assistant head coach, Christoph Bühler, is also leaving.

Wagner, who led Huddersfield to promotion to the Premier League in 2017, was appointed in January 2023, replacing Dean Smith. He guided Norwich to 13th in the Championship last season.

Knapper said: “David has operated with class and dignity throughout his period as Norwich City head coach, but we now feel that the time is right for us to move in a different direction.”