Places still up for grabs, insists boss Gunn

PUBLISHED: 12:28 27 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:22 10 September 2010

New arrival from Preston Simon Whaley gets his first outing in a Canaries shirt. Picture: James Bass

New arrival from Preston Simon Whaley gets his first outing in a Canaries shirt. Picture: James Bass

Bryan Gunn has told his players every position for Norwich City's opening League One fixture, in less than two weeks time, is up for grabs. The City boss was left with a few quality performances to mull over following the Canaries' 1-1 draw with Manchester United's youngsters on Saturday, and with pre-season friendlies against Crystal Palace and Wigan still to come before kick-off against Colchester United on August 8, it will soon be decision time.

Bryan Gunn has told his players every position for Norwich City's opening League One fixture, in less than two weeks time, is up for grabs.

The City boss was left with a few quality performances to mull over following the Canaries' 1-1 draw with Manchester United's youngsters on Saturday, and with pre-season friendlies against Crystal Palace and Wigan still to come before kick-off against Colchester United on August 8, it will soon be decision time.

"That's why I told them before the game," said Gunn. "The team has not been picked for Colchester so there are opportunities.

"The players who perform well today, they get extra ticks, and obviously the players that have sat out today and maybe only came on in the second half might get an opportunity on Tuesday night (at Selhurst Park).

"It has certainly given me and the staff a nice problem to have and, touch wood, I don't think we have got too many knocks from today and if there are they will be well looked after and hopefully we will get them ready for Tuesday night.

"All in all I think it was a good day's work. It was good to see an excellent crowd here today, I introduced a lot of new players to the stadium and to the fans, so I think we can take all positives out of it that we need to."

Manchester United reserve team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Saturday's work out against Norwich City was a great occasion for his young side.

Richie de Laet scored late on to give United's youngsters the draw their second half performance deserved, after chasing shadows at times as City impressed before half-time.

"We enjoy these kind of games because it's different to what we are used to - great atmosphere, great stadium and it was a big occasion for many of these boys," said Solskjaer.

"The youngsters are coming up and they have got to show us they can play against men as well, not only boys.

"I had a word with Bryan as well. They gave us a little bit of a run-around in the first half and showed what a good team they are really because I think we were lucky to be 1-0 down."

Ben Alnwick's penalty save from Sam Hewson during the first half preserved City's lead until the interval, after Cameron Stewart was too quick footed for Gary Doherty.

But Solskjaer admitted he was glad his side went in at half-time a goal behind.

"I said to the boys at half-time that we were happy they didn't score with that penalty because they didn't deserve to be one each, but second half I thought we did well," he said.

"They got back into the game, the tempo of the passing was better, we found the angles better and didn't give the ball away cheaply."

An arguably stronger United team beat League Two Rochdale at Spotland last week 2-0, with Solskjaer left to play winger Stewart as a lone striker at Carrow Road.

But the Norwegian is expecting City to have a successful campaign this season.

"I think they were a good team - but I expected a good team because it's a big club, it's a club with great traditions," said Solskjaer. "I'm sure they will bounce straight back up again and I've heard so much about it from my former national team coach and former club coach Aage Hareide who played here, so it is a club that belongs higher up."

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