Gunn has a key role for Cort

PUBLISHED: 12:24 14 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 10 September 2010

Bryan Gunn believes Carl Cort's impact at both ends of the pitch can prove a major plus for City. Picture: Steve Adams

Bryan Gunn believes Carl Cort's impact at both ends of the pitch can prove a major plus for City. Picture: Steve Adams

Chris Lakey

Striker Carl Cort can expect to be a busy man today - but Bryan Gunn insists the Canaries won't be playing ugly, long-ball football. Cort himself suggested last weekend that City needed to get ugly to win, but the City boss says longer passes doesn't mean a loss of quality.

Striker Carl Cort can expect to be a busy man today - but Bryan Gunn insists the Canaries won't be playing ugly, long-ball football.

Cort himself suggested last weekend that City needed to get ugly to win, but the City boss says longer passes doesn't mean a loss of quality.

"I don't see it like that," he said. "I see that we can still play a passing game, but we can pass it slightly longer and get the ball forward slightly quicker and it won't be ugly football. We can still play good football by doing that. With someone like Carl in the team it gives you an option to do that."

Cort is currently on a 'pay as you play' deal at Carrow Road, but his form in recent matches suggests a full deal could be in the offing, with Gunn admitting that you play to your strengths - and at the moment, that's Cort.

"He's the man on form at the moment, so you need to identify those things and use them to the best ability," Gunn said.

"I'm sure Preston will have had scouts at the last two games and will have identified identify that Carl Cort will be a threat to them just like we know that Jon Parkin will be a threat for them if the right service is played to him and that's what we intend to do.

"We worked on team shape and a bit of tactical stuff yesterday. Hopefully it won't be ugly, but it will be progressive and we will get into attacking areas quicker than we might have done in the past."

Gunn says Cort's recent form has been a bonus, and while the injury-plagued 31-year-old's fitness has to be carefully managed he was able to play a solo role in the second half against Bristol City after losing strike partner Jamie Cureton in the reshuffle that followed Gary Doherty's dismissal just before the break.

"His levels of fitness are a lot better than they were two months ago," said Gunn. "I think it was a really difficult role for him to play in the second half because he was there on his own and he was doing a lot of extra running whereas had he had a strike partner it might have been more shared.

"He did exert a lot more energy in that second half and I would have loved to have kept him on the pitch for his presence and everything else, but the legs probably were the ones I was more worried about.

"I must admit I hadn't seen a lot of Carl apart from some of the footage from the Charlton match. He is 6ft 3in, 6ft 4ins and he gives you two threats - he can win headers from flick-ons or he's got great hold-up play and he has got a great touch which we saw last week.

"The other bonus is you've got height in both boxes and he's a brave guy. You can put him up against one of their main threats because you know he'll go and compete for the ball. That is the other bonus of having a 6ft 4in striker, who can also do defensive duties as well."

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