Gunn handed Norwich City top job

Norwich City goalkeeping great Bryan Gunn today graduated to the top job at Carrow Road when he was appointed first team manager.And the 45-year-old Gunn's management team will include two more long-serving City heroes in the former midfield star Ian Crook as first team coach and former striker, coach and manager John Deehan as chief scout.

Norwich City goalkeeping great Bryan Gunn today graduated to the top job at Carrow Road when he was appointed first team manager.

And the 45-year-old Gunn's management team will include two more long-serving City heroes in the former midfield star Ian Crook as first team coach and former striker, coach and manager John Deehan as chief scout.


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The appointment of the new management trio, with well over 1,000 first team games between them, was announced at a press conference shortly after 9.15am.

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The three appointments will run to the end of the season.

Club chairman Roger Munby said five candidates were interviewed for the manager's job.

Gunn, who has become a hugely-popular figure in 22 years since signing for the club from Aberdeen, took charge of the first team for the first time in Saturday's 4-0 Championship victory over Barnsley, after serving as head of recruitment under previous manager Glenn Roeder.

Munby broke the news, saying: 'We have our own inauguration to announce. It is a huge pleasure on behalf of the entire board to announce that Bryan Gunn is our first team manager with immediate effect.'

Munby had spoken at the weekend of the need to appoint people with strong links to the club and he confirmed that Deehan, also at the press conference, would be chief scout and that Crook was returning from Australia to take up his post as coach.

Gunn, who was given the news at 10.30pm last night said: 'It's a very proud moment, I must admit. This is probably the fourth proudest moment of my life after three children being born in Norwich as well, being named as manager of Norwich City Football Club.

'It is a pinnacle for me having spent 22 years at this great club in a variety of roles.

'To be offered the position of first team manager it is difficult to put into words what my inner feelings are.

'It was evident after Saturday, having been given the opportunity to lead the team on that occasion, it certainly whetted the appetite and after a lot of thought and discussion with my family we came to the decision that we approach the board of directors.'

Gunn said he thought the day may never come when he would be City manager.

'I did apply for the job 10 years ago when Gordon Bennett was chief executive,' he said. 'He did send me a very kind letter back to say he was looking for an experienced manager at the time, which I accepted. I must admit I'd probably given up hope of ever being Norwich City's manager but the way it's come around has been mind blowing and hopefully, given the opportunity now, I'm going to make a success of it.'

Deehan was among those who sent good luck messages to Gunn before the Barnsley game.

Said Gunn: 'If you look at the make-up of it, it's a Norwich City, hopefully dream team. John couldn't wait to come down and help. I was trying to explain the situation to him but I don't think I needed to explain it. He wanted to get down and do whatever he could for the football club, for me.'

Crook is expected to arrive in Norwich before the end of the week.

'The other part of the team which will be flying in in the next couple of days is making a major commitment to the football club as well because he is coming over with his family from Australia,' said Gunn. 'So when I asked him if he wanted to be my first team coach he was sitting outside with a glass of orange juice in 32 degrees of sunshine. He's making a major commitment, he knows the situation at the club, we're very focused on the job ahead and we feel with the team we've got in place, the experience of John and the Norwich City connection, we'll be able to pull through.'

Gunn said he had little time to prepare for his formal interview.

'I didn't have too much time to think about it, so I worked out that from the heart, like I normally do with most things.

'I know I'll have the full backing of the staff at Carrow Road. We've just briefed the staff, among whom I've worked over the last 10 years, so hopefully it's going to be a great anniversary.'

Gunn played for 477 times for the Canaries after his move from Aberdeen in 1986. He was twice voted player of the season and won six Scotland caps, and he figured in the three most successful league campaigns in City's history when they finished third, fourth and fifth in the top flight.

Crook, now 45, first joined the Canaries in the summer of 1986 and went on to play 418 times for the club, scoring 24 goals. He has had various management posts overseas but this is his first coaching position in England.

Deehan, 51, featured in two promotion campaigns after signing for City from West Bromwich Albion in 1981 and was a member of the Milk Cup winning side of 1985 before moving to Ipswich the following year. His last football post was as a scout for Birmingham and before that he was Lincoln's director of football. He was City manager for 15 months from January 1994 to April 1995.

Deehan appealed for supporters to get behind the new management team.

He said: 'I'm really looking forward to it. It's a really exciting period for the football club.

'If I've got anything to say, I want to just reach out to the supporters that are in this city, in Costessey, in Drayton. We need you behind us now. We need to come together as a team and a club very, very quickly and give Bryan all the support and backing we can.

'Can you be as vocal as you can from those stands, because it's an intimidating place, Carrow Road, when it's full and there is a vibrant Canaries support behind us. They'll drive us on and get us enough points.'

He said of Gunn's appointment: 'He's been here, he's lived here and I think it's wonderful for the club because he'll know the heartbeat of the football club. He'll know every inch of this ground, he'll know the training ground inside out, he'll know each individual player and he'll be able to help myself and Ian Crook. And it will be a nice way to be invited into the club and come back into the club.'

Munby said all three appointments would be reviewed at the end of the season.

Fact files

Bryan Gunn

(manager)

Age: 45

Born: Thurso

Playing career: Aberdeen, Norwich 1986-98 (apps 477, player of season 1987-88, 1992-93), Hibernian, Scotland (6 caps)

Managerial experience: Norwich club liaison, head of recruitment, caretaker manager v Barnsley

Ian Crook

(first team coach)

Age: 45

Playing career: Tottenham, Norwich 1986-97 (apps 418, goals 24), Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Northern Spirit FC

Managerial experience: Northern Spirit (assistant), Newcastle Jets, American Samoa, Australia Under-20 (assistant), Sydney FC (assistant), Avispa Fukuoka (assistant).

John Deehan

(chief scout)

Age: 51

Playing career: Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich 1981-86 (apps 199, goals 70), Ipswich, Manchester City, Barnsley

Managerial experience: Manchester City player-coach, Barnsley player-coach, Norwich first team coach 1992-94, Norwich manager 1994-95, Wigan manager 1995-98, Sheffield United assistant manager, Aston Villa assistant manager, caretaker manager, Northampton director of football, Lincoln director of football, Birmingham scout.

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