Gary Lineker branded Chris Hughton’s brutal sacking by Norwich “utterly bonkers and deluded” last night.

Hughton was fired, with just five games of the season left, and replaced by youth team coach Neil Adams as the Canaries pressed the panic button.

Hughton was stunned by his brutal sacking after a warm down session at the training ground yesterday.

Former Newcastle boss Hughton was called in afterwards by chief executive David McNally and sacked along with his staff Colin Calderwood and Paul Trollope.

And Match of the Day host Lineker led the public outcry as the only black manager remaining among English football’s 92 professional clubs was handed his cards.

The England legend, a former team-mate of Hughton’s at Tottenham, raged: “Statistics show that the thinking a new man in charge brings an immediate upturn in fortunes is a complete myth.”

In a fatuous statement, Norwich claimed the board at Carrow Road had “taken the decision to give the club maximum chance to secure the points required” to stave off relegation from the Premier League.

Like Hughton the Canaries players were also unaware the end was coming and they have called their own meeting on Monday for clear-the-air talks but Hughton remained popular in the dressing room.