Crook hopes for time to deliver

PUBLISHED: 11:11 12 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:16 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Ian Crook is in it for the long haul where Norwich City are concerned - and that is not a reference to flights from Australia. The Canaries' 46-year-old first team coach still has a year to run on his contract after flying halfway across the world in January to become part of Bryan Gunn's new management team.

Ian Crook is in it for the long haul where Norwich City are concerned - and that is not a reference to flights from Australia.

The Canaries' 46-year-old first team coach still has a year to run on his contract after flying halfway across the world in January to become part of Bryan Gunn's new management team.

And the former midfielder, who gave up a three-year deal with A-League side Newcastle Jets to rejoin his former club, is very much hoping to stay and play his part in the Carrow Road rebuilding job as City bid to regain Championship status.

Gunn, assistant boss Ian Butterworth and Crook met club directors last week to present their case for staying at the helm for the League One battle ahead, but the board has yet to deliver its verdict.

“It's a big decision, the same as it was a big decision three months ago, and a year before that when Glenn Roeder came in, and before that when Peter Grant came in,” said Crook. “It's a big decision and they won't just rush into it, though I am certainly hoping it will be sooner rather than later.

“I've got a contract to May 2010 and I'd like to stay and do well next season.

“I am looking forward to it. I didn't come over here for two or three months, not and leave a three-year deal.”

Crook admitted the 4-2 defeat at Charlton on the final day of the season was a bad way to exit the Championship, but believes the club's problems stretch much further back.

He said: “It was disappointing that we finished how we did at Charlton with that sort of performance.

“We would have been disappointed to go down whatever, but I think that heightened everything, how the game actually went.

“But the league table doesn't lie. You can't argue with it. At the end of the day you finish where you deserve to.

“Even having seen it from afar, I think this has been ongoing over three or four years, culminating in what's happened now.

“Last year I think it was one game before the end of the season when they stayed up, and the year before it was close.

“If the house starts falling down and you don't fix it, or you try to leave it, it finally falls down.

“It was a very difficult job, or we wouldn't have been here, and in the end it proved too difficult. When we came in we were struggling with what we had. Did the people we brought in improve things? I think they did.

“With a bit more luck here and there, we may have survived but it would only have been papering over the cracks.”

Crook believes City have to find “winners” on the field next season.

“There will be some decent sides in League One next year and some big clubs,” he said.

“In whatever division you play, you need quality players with the desire and mentality to want to win.

“A big factor as a coach is having people who have been in a winning environment. We need to get people who are used to winning, in whatever standard they have been playing in.”

He is also keen to bring on the club's younger players after taking charge of the reserve team since his return.

He said: “The reserve boys only had four games after I arrived so when we get back into the reserve league next season, we need to develop some of the younger boys so we can get that feed into the club again.”

Lack of reserve games was not a major factor in City's failure last season, but was “a little piece of the jigsaw”, he said.

He said: “If players are not playing and are then called upon through injury, they are short of match practice.”

Crook, who joined Newcastle Jets as high performance manager in October last year on a three-year deal, returns to Australia for a short break at the end of the week.

“I left there at 24 hours' notice and there are things to be done before I come back,” he said.

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