Gunn welcomes back Martin and Spillane

PUBLISHED: 11:26 07 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:20 10 September 2010

Bryan Gunn hopes Chris Martin, pictured, and Michael Spillane, have learned from their tough experience at Luton. Picture: Paul Hewitt

Bryan Gunn hopes Chris Martin, pictured, and Michael Spillane, have learned from their tough experience at Luton. Picture: Paul Hewitt

Michael Bailey

Bryan Gunn is happy to have two of Norwich City's most promising youngsters back in the Colney ranks - Chris Martin and Michael Spillane. The two Academy products were given short shrift by Gunn's predecessor, Glenn Roeder, who shipped the pair on loan to Luton Town last summer with the prospect of 12 months fighting a 30-point deduction and the virtual certainty of relegation.

Bryan Gunn is happy to have two of Norwich City's most promising youngsters back in the Colney ranks - Chris Martin and Michael Spillane.

The two Academy products were given short shrift by Gunn's predecessor, Glenn Roeder, who shipped the pair on loan to Luton Town last summer with the prospect of 12 months fighting a 30-point deduction and the virtual certainty of relegation.

The Hatters made bids for the two youngsters towards the end of last season, such was the success of their spell in Bedfordshire - fortunately for City, Roeder had gone before he had the chance to accept the offers, leaving Gunn the opportunity to welcome back the youngsters who left as boys, but the City boss hopes have returned as men.

"I couldn't believe it when I looked round the dressing room and they were sitting together again," said Gunn, of the pair Roeder had once infamously referred to as "Tweedledum and Tweedledee".

"There they were and I decided not to call them their pet names, and we hope they have come back as men - we hope they have because that was an experience, actually being sent out on loan.

"And then the experience they had at Luton itself and I suppose the hardships they had to go through as well - at a club that tried very hard to get themselves out of a situation.

"So I'm hopeful they've learned from that experience and that they'll come back into the squad."

Martin, 20, and 19-year-old Spillane were seen as hot prospects at Carrow Road just a couple of seasons ago, but the last campaign brought them a chance to properly cut their football teeth, in League Two.

Spillane made 48 appearances and scored four goals, while Martin was Luton's top scorer with 13 from 51 matches, as Luton failed to avoid the drop but did bag the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Wembley against Scunthorpe, who will be playing Championship football next season. Martin was on the scoresheet in the 3-2 extra-time victory. "They're good football players, the two of them are very good football players, so hopefully they haven't lost that," said Gunn.

"I'm sure they haven't because I saw them both at Wembley, I saw them both play earlier in the season against Plymouth Argyle in the League Cup and Ian Crook went down to see them with Paul Crichton.

"So we've been watching them and we've made the decision to offer Michael a new contract, which he signed, and obviously Chris was under contract anyway."

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