Ben Knapper was always going to plead for time to comb through the issues at Norwich City - and he is right to do so. 

The expectation that he was going to act rashly and immediately pull the trigger on under-fire head coach David Wagner was a fantasy. 

Just like deciding to back him based on 90 minutes at Cardiff, that would have been a solely emotional decision. The most important thing for the future of Norwich is that Knapper comes to the right call - not the quickest or easiest one. 

Knapper was never to waltz into Colney and begin pulling the trigger and ripping up structures.

That isn't a way to earn respect or trust from people inside the club or those who follow and care about it deeply. 

Before joining on Monday, he hadn't been provided an opportunity to assess how Wagner and his coaching team work on the training pitch, interact with players or conduct their work around pre-match preparation or post-game assessment. 

Irrespective of data, watching matches or speaking to contacts within and around the game, until Knapper undertakes that work he cannot come to a fully informed decision whether to stick with Wagner or to make a change. 

Given the magnitude of the call, Knapper is right to take his time. Now he is in post, that can accelerate and a decision can be swifter - hence why Norwich's board moved to bring him in ahead of schedule. 

In between a decision that has been painted as binary - either back or sack - there is a significant amount of middle ground. Knapper has elected to occupy that whilst making a rational and informed decision. 

That cannot centre purely on results - there is a deeper and more long-term need to make the right call. Without that, Norwich will be locked in a perpetual cycle of changing head coaches. 

Key to the long-term strategy will be Knapper choosing a head coach that aligns with his values and shares his vision - if that is Wagner, then City's sporting director will want and needs to be absolutely sure of that and vice versa. 

There is a world where Knapper feels Wagner is that man to lead it forward - but once the decision is made, then it needs to be properly communicated and explained. 

At the core of everything, irrespective of results, is alignment between the head coach and sporting director.

The Pink Un: Ben Knapper will take time to assess the situation at Norwich City.Ben Knapper will take time to assess the situation at Norwich City. (Image: Arsenal FC)

If Knapper and Wagner don't align in their outlooks or working practices, then Norwich will need to find a head coach who does. That reality is the case regardless of what is happening on the pitch and the latest patch of results. 

The German is under pressure. He knows it. Knapper will know it. The fans know it. The assessment period has begun - Wagner will likely be afforded the QPR game at the very least. Watching him operate in a matchday cycle will be critical. 

Knapper has outlined his desired style of football. If Wagner doesn't or cannot deliver that, Norwich will hire a head coach who can. That reality is simple. 

But for City's new footballing chief to launch two-footed into any decision would set a dangerous precedent. It would go against the big-picture attitude sporting directors should adopt. 

If Wagner isn't the man, that will become apparent swiftly. Knapper has taken soundings from agents and coaches inside the game and received largely positive feedback. 

He has been in constant dialogue with the key players at City, like his predecessor Stuart Webber, technical director Neil Adams, executive director Zoe Webber and even Wagner himself. 

Knapper has a partially formed picture - the next few weeks will be critical to ensuring he has the full capabilities to reach a verdict based on more than City's results.

The easy decision would be to dismiss Wagner, to start afresh and wipe the slate clean - the fact he wants to make the correct call should be a pleasing approach. It isn't indecision - it's about being considered. 

It was always going to be the case that the perception created among supporters by Knapper's early arrival was that he would instantly dismiss Wagner - but that was not necessarily the case. He was at the core of discussions that took place among senior figures after Blackburn and Sunderland. 

The Pink Un: Norwich City supporters will need to show patience.Norwich City supporters will need to show patience. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

The international break provides a natural opportunity for that assessment to gather pace towards a decision - but it won't necessarily be the window where a call is made either way. 

There is a bit of a leap of faith involved in that process - but there is one. Trust has been eroded between the people in the corridors of power and the supporter base in recent seasons. Part of Knapper's job will be matching his words with actions. Ultimately, it will be that where he gets judged. 

Knapper needs to be judged on the decisions he does take - not the ones he hasn't yet. In the end, he will have to make a call on Wagner. Only then can he truly be scrutinised and assessed. 

Ultimately, it has to be one that sets Norwich up for the future and to succeed in the long term - that is the lens that Knapper will look through despite the pressure created by their poor Championship form.