Gunn: McLeish has the right stuff
PUBLISHED: 15:09 10 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:43 14 September 2010
Alex McLeish, who left Glasgow Rangers at the end of last season, is among the latest high-profile names reported to be interested in the vacancy. And putting a Scot in charge of Norwich City would bring a smile to at least one well-known face at Carrow Road - but Bryan Gunn is making no predictions about the likely successor to Nigel Worthington.
Putting a Scot in charge of Norwich City would bring a smile to at least one well-known face at Carrow Road - but Bryan Gunn is making no predictions about the likely successor to Nigel Worthington.
Goalkeeping great Gunn's old Aberdeen team-mate and former Hibernian boss Alex McLeish, who left Glasgow Rangers at the end of last season, is among the latest high-profile names reported to be interested in the vacancy.
Another Scot moved into the picture yesterday when ex-Canary midfielder Peter Grant, Alan Pardew's number two at West Ham, was also linked with the post.
Gunn, City's community ambassador, was careful not to put his X in the box of any particular managerial candidate, but admitted he would be proud if one of his fellow countrymen landed the job.
Apart from English-born former Scotland captain Bruce Rioch, manager for nearly two years from 1998, the Canaries have not had a Scottish boss since Willie Reid succeeded compatriot Archie Macaulay in the 1961-62 season - and he stayed just five months.
Gunn was careful not to pre-judge the appointment while Martin Hunter prepares for his first match as caretaker boss at Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday.
The former 'keeper said: “If people have applied for the job, there is an interview process that goes on and if top quality managers are being linked with the job that's great to see.
“Alex is my old team-mate and of course manager at Hibernian. He's out of a job after his departure from Rangers and I am not sure whether he is a candidate, but working with Alex, he was a fantastic manager.
“Granty is doing very well in the Premiership with West Ham and, to be honest, one day I could see him ending up with Celtic.”
A source north of the border also believes that Norwich would represent an attractive proposition for McLeish who, despite keeping a fairly low profile since his departure from Ibrox, is understood to want a return to football.
As to whether Scots make more passionate managers, he said: “I wouldn't say they necessarily have more fire in their bellies, but they have a tradition of being good communicators and good managers and a lot of the names who have come down to England over the last 20 years have been very successful. And of course if a Scot were to be the next manager here, I'd be delighted.
“But there are a lot of names out there, and quite rightly because it's a great job.
“Whoever ends up getting it, I know from personal experience over the past 20 years, will be taking on a job with good foundations.”
It seems Gunn has resisted the temptation to throw his hat in the ring.
He said: “When I've been out signing my books, people have said to me that I ought to have a go at the job and it's flattering, but it's nothing I have taken any further. I'm already an employee of the club so they know all about me and know where to find me.”
Another potential candidate currently north of the border - though not a Scot - is current Hibernian boss Tony Mowbray.
Both McLeish, 47, who won two Scottish championships and two Scottish Cups with Rangers, and former Ipswich defender Mowbray, 42, are understood to be in contention for the vacancy at West Bromwich Albion.
t Brian Laws, the Scunthorpe United manager, is the latest name to emerge as a leading contender for the Norwich City job. The Canaries have been refused permission to talk to Steve Tilson, the Southend United manager, and according to national newspaper reports Laws is now in with a shot. The 44-year-old has led Scunthorpe to third place in League One, and oversaw a 4-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest at the weekend.