Neil Adams was the ‘top candidate’ to get Norwich back into the Barclays Premier League at the first time of asking, according to chairman Alan Bowkett. Press Association The likes of Malky Mackay and former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood, both also ex-Norwich players, had been linked with the vacancy, as were Gianfranco Zola and Neil Lennon, who has just left Celtic. Bowkett, though, maintains following due diligence of all the potential candidates, Adams was the right man for the job, having penned a three-year deal. “The reason we took longer than we wanted to take (in making the appointment) was because we did a review of the German market, the Italian market, Spanish market, the whole of the British Isles, to find the candidate who stood the best chance of getting us promotion as soon as possible,” Bowkett said at a press conference. “And the things we were looking for, as well as experience, is some of the basic things such as coaching skills, leadership, vision hard work, a progressive attitude, hunger for the job and the commitment to do it the Norwich way – and Neil easily came top of that in terms of those various attributes.” Bowkett sees no reason why Norwich, now free of any external debt, should not be able to make an instant return to the top flight and then move forwards. “The ambition of this football club is to be competitive in the top half of the Premier League,” he said. “We believe we can establish, from the way we are managing this football club, a club that can compete for a European place and win a trophy.” Chief executive David McNally maintained Adams was the only candidate to have been offered the job and, contrary to reports, that “nobody has turned down the job.” Adams, 48, made more than 200 appearances for Norwich as a player from 1993 to 1999 and became a popular pundit on local radio before moving into coaching, where he guided the Academy side to victory in the 2013 FA Youth Cup final against Chelsea. “I am a supporter of the club myself, so I know how the fans are hurting right now after last season, the same way that I would be and many others, that is why it’s important that we give it the best possible go next season,” he said. Adams confirmed while some players would leave the club, there was no pressure to sell – although it remains to be seen whether the likes of record-signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who managed just one goal, and captain Sebastien Bassong would be willing to ply their trade in the Championship. “The key is I need players who want to play here, have fire in their bellies and are good players,” he said. Norwich are set to make further announcements on a revamped back-room staff ahead of the new season, with former first-team coach Steve Foley understood to be returning to the club, who will also appoint a new technical director this summer. Former Canaries winger Adams was on Thursday confirmed as the Canaries’ full-time boss, having been appointed to a caretaker role after Chris Hughton was sacked five matches from the end of last season. Having been handed a near impossible task given the run of fixtures against leading sides, Adams, who stepped up from his role as coach of the youth team, could gain just one point, a goalless draw at Chelsea, as the Norfolk club slipped down into the Sky Bet Championship.