Malky Mackay
Mackay is the evens favourite to be the permanent replacement for Chris Hughton.

Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay is the bookmakers' favourite to be the permanent replacement for Chris Hughton at Norwich City after the 55 year old was sacked on Sunday evening as the Canaries slipped to within five points of the relegation zone after defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Under-18s coach Neil Adams has been installed for the remaining five games of the Premier League season, charged with steering the club away from the bottom three after falling to 17th following a fourth defeat in six games.

Norwich travel to fellow-relegation threatened Fulham next weekend before a daunting run of games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in the final four weeks of the campaign.

Hughton admitted following the defeat to West Brom that Norwich were involved in a fight for relegation and following public threats from chief executive David McNally over his future, City have opted for the change with just five matches remaining.

McNally said: "Neil is a progressive and successful coach who has served this Club as a player and a member of our coaching staff in exemplary fashion over two decades.

"With our fantastic fans getting behind Neil and the team in the games ahead we will greatly improve our chances of a successful end to the current campaign.

Adams has been installed until the end of the season though ex-Cardiff boss Mackay, sacked by the south Wales club in December, is already the favourite to takeover on a permanent basis regardless of the success of Norwich's bid to escape relegation.

Mackay guided Cardiff back to the top flight for the first time for 53 years last term but his relationship with owner Vincent Tan eventually led to his removal before the turn of the year. The Scot is evens favourite to return to Carrow Road where he spent six years as a player, with Celtic's Neil Lennon also in contention.

Promoted back to the Premier League in 2011, Norwich enjoyed a 12th place finish in the Premier League under Paul Lambert and in Hughton's first campaign after being appointed in the summer of 2012 produced an improved league finish of 11th.

But following a flurry of summer additions, including record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel – who has scored just one Premier League goal this season – Norwich have been on the slide and Saturday's 1-0 defeat to West Brom was the club's 17th this term, as many at bottom side Sunderland have suffered.

"These final five games will be a huge test for us, and everyone must step up to the mark," Adams said. "But with the full backing of these magnificent Norwich supporters we will have every chance of achieving our objective."