Praise for Norwich City's loyal fans

PUBLISHED: 10:35 17 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:21 10 September 2010

Chris Lakey

Canaries boss Bryan Gunn described the club's followers as "unbelievable" as they ruined any hopes St Johnstone boss Derek McInnes had of a "behind-closed-doors" friendly yesterday.

Canaries boss Bryan Gunn described the club's followers as "unbelievable" as they ruined any hopes St Johnstone boss Derek McInnes had of a "behind-closed-doors" friendly yesterday.

McInnes was clearly unhappy that City had revealed details for the match and refused to hand in a teamsheet, saying he would provide only the names of any goalscorers.

In the end that wasn't necessary, but it would appear he was always in a no-win situation after Gunn refused to keep the match under wraps.

"The fans are unbelievable," Gunn said. "I spoke to Derek McInnes yesterday and I think he was under the impression it was a behind-closed-doors game and I said, 'well not for us, for all our pre-season games there are 250-odd fans turn up and they follow us', so he had to accept that.

"I think he had a few trialists on the pitch as well that he was looking at and I think he was scared that in among the Norwich City fans there might have been a few others managers and agents having a look at the trialists as well."

He was right on that score - one or two suited gentlemen were lurking among the trees that lined one end of the pitch at St Andrews University, although former City great Kevin Drinkell, now an agent, and one-time City assistant and caretaker boss and now Brechin manager Jim Duffy, made no attempt to hide.

Gunn had trialists of his own on view, but was happy with the 13 men who took the pitch.

"We're happy with the workout," he said.

"St Johnstone won their league last year and they put us through our paces today and we move on to Airdrie United and we keep that same level of commitment.

"I thought the passing was excellent as well today - we worked the ball well out of the back on a number of occasions and there were a number of very good performances."

Cody McDonald lasted just 17 minutes before being replaced by scorer Goran Maric.

"Cody had a little knock on his knee," said Gunn.

"We've been nursing him during pre-season and he just felt it again today. He's keen to play - he's not had too many minutes on the pitch but we don't want to take any chances with any injury that might flare up so he will be spending some time with (physio) Simon Spencer to assess any damage and we will make sure that we nurse him through.

"There are still a few weeks to August 8 and we want to make sure everyone is as fit and ready to go as possible."

Gunn started with trialist Michael Bridges down the middle, although McDonald's departure forced him wide right in a three-man attack.

"If you look back at his previous history he likes to play in that area," said Gunn. "He put in a good performance and he is enjoying himself."

Gary Doherty led out the side - although a decision on next year's skipper has yet to be announced - while Gunn took a look at Danish trialist Jens Berthel Askou alongside him.

"I thought that was a commanding performance," said Gunn. "It certainly looked like he enjoyed the physical side and the aerial threat - with the balls inside the penalty box he was not only getting headers on them but getting headers and good distance.

"Jens was keen to come here when he knew Norwich were interested in him and he gets another opportunity to impress on Saturday and if he puts in another performance like that you have to make a decision."

Matty Pattison was the only absentee yesterday, having travelled back to Newcastle where his girlfriend gave birth.

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