Johnson stunned by 'one of the strangest decisions'

PUBLISHED: 12:59 15 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:25 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

Bryan Gunn's ex-Norwich team mate and King's Lynn assistant boss Andy Johnson last night branded Gunn's dismissal as one of 'the strangest decisions' he had seen in football.

Bryan Gunn's ex-Norwich team mate and King's Lynn assistant boss Andy Johnson last night branded Gunn's dismissal as one of 'the strangest decisions' he had seen in football.

Johnson was at a loss to explain Gunn's rapid exit after just 21 games at the helm - barely seven days into the new campaign.

“It must be one of the quickest sackings ever,” said the Welshman. “I don't know who is calling the shots but it's a bizarre decision. The trouble nowadays is you have people within the game who make decisions that are not football people. I'm not saying that is what has happened here and I certainly wouldn't bad mouth Norwich because I had some great years there and it was a fantastic place. Gunny would still feel exactly the same.

“He is Mr Norwich through and through and he'll be devastated with this. It hasn't really sunk in yet. To be honest, it's like one of those things you see on television when Lady Di died. You think 'nah, that isn't true.' It's like April the first has come around already.”

The 35-year-old featured alongside Gunn towards the end of the Scot's distinguished Carrow Road playing career. Johnson insists his old team mate deserved more time after inheriting a poisoned chalice last season.

“Okay, he didn't manage to keep them up but you'd have needed to be Houdini to do that,” said the former City midfielder. “I think most people thought they were more or less down but they gave him the job when the club was in a pickle. Then he was given some time to try and re-establish the squad and get the team in he wanted.

“I know Gunny and I know one thing - he would have been prepared and organised in everything he does and the bloke would've been trying to build for the whole season. We know they've had a nightmare start in the first game but it's a long old year. I think he deserved more time to get his squad playing. You put a brand new squad together and it takes time to gel. I certainly don't remember anybody calling for his head during the pre-season games or saying anything bad.”

Johnson has now taken his own first steps on the coaching ladder alongside Carl Heggs at The Walks. The ex-Welsh international is under no illusions how precarious the management game is ahead of his club's Unibond Premier opener this afternoon.

“As a coach you're out there and you know what you are getting yourself into,” he said. “It's a dog eat dog world and as a manager or a coach of a football club you have bosses above you that call the shots. Unfortunately for Gunny that has been the case. His situation reminds me a little bit of the one myself and Carl faced. We've come in during the summer, changed the squad around and got our own players in and been backed to do that. I just hope we don't lose our first game in the league now.”

Johnson admits City caretaker boss Ian Butterworth has a thankless task.

“I don't envy him,” said Johnson. “But that's football I guess.”

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