Alan could be key: Gunn

PUBLISHED: 08:51 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Striker Alan Lee today became the fifth striker signed by Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn - and could make his debut in Saturday's crucial Championship match at Birmingham.

Striker Alan Lee today became the fifth striker signed by Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn - and could make his debut in Saturday's crucial Championship match at Birmingham.

The 30-year-old former Ipswich centre-forward was this morning completing the paperwork on a loan move from Crystal Palace for the rest of the season, before training with his new team-mates at Colney.

Gunn, who has already added on-loan trio Alan Gow, Chris Killen and David Mooney plus non-League capture Cody McDonald to his squad since taking charge, said 6ft 3in Republic of Ireland international Lee offered a different attacking option to the rest of his front men.

“Alan arrived last night, is signing his papers this morning and is training with us today. He's certainly fit enough to go straight into the side if we want,” said Gunn.

“I've watched him over the years and different managers at Norwich City have had their eye on him. He's a different type of player to our other strikers. He has more power and his height advantage will be crucial in both penalty boxes.

“He's an awkward customer to play against. He's got tenacity, he chases lost causes and he provides a goal threat.

“He knows the division and he has scored a lot of goals in this division.

“He could have gone to a Championship club in a more comfortable position but he wants to come to Norwich, he is looking forward to coming here and, to me, that shows his character and commitment. With the seven games we have left he's very keen to come here and do well.”

Lee scored at Carrow Road last season, getting the first goal as Ipswich opened a 2-0 lead before City fought back to draw 2-2 in their first game under Glenn Roeder.

In all, Lee played 103 first team games for Town, scoring 31 goals, before moving to Crystal Palace last summer. But he has had limited opportunities under Neil Warnock, making only 13 starts and scoring three goals.

Gunn is not concerned, however, about Lee's Portman Road past, with a derby match looming on Sunday, April 19.

“His Ipswich connection doesn't bother me at all and I can't see why it would bother anyone else,” he said.

City were not looking beyond the loan deal just yet, said Gunn

“I am only looking to the end of the season. We can't say what will happen to any of the players who are on loan here but it's an opportunity for Alan to impress us, the fans and the directors,” he said.

Gow's arrival will raise questions over the fitness of striker Carl Cort, who returned to English football after a serious knee injury but has not featured in the last two matches for City. After 13 senior outings, he was said to have found three matches in eight days too much.

Gunn declined to expand on Cort's situation, saying only: “Carl's future is still to be resolved.”

Lee's arrival would give Gunn the option of dropping Gow into midfield against the Blues, but he would be reluctant to disrupt Gow's promising partnership with Mooney.

“It gives us lots of different options but the two lads in possession of the shirts at the moment have done well and might make it difficult to shift them,” said Gunn.

Galway-born Lee was first linked with the Canaries in 2003 when he was at Rotherham, where he scored 37 goals in 111 appearances. On that occasion he instead moved to Cardiff in a £850,000 deal.

Lee started his career with Aston Villa but was unable to break through to the senior side, having loan spells with Torquay and Port Vale before having a short spell with Burnley.

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