Brown backs his boys to succeed

Norwich City's management team are on the right track in their bid to secure the club's Championship survival - according to the former boss who signed every one of them. During his seven-year stint as manager, Ken Brown brought Bryan Gunn, Ian Butterworth, Ian Crook and John Deehan to Carrow Road as key players.

Norwich City's management team are on the right track in their bid to secure the club's Championship survival - according to the former boss who signed every one of them.

During his seven-year stint as manager, Ken Brown brought Bryan Gunn, Ian Butterworth, Ian Crook and John Deehan to Carrow Road as key players.

Well over 20 years on, there is no happier man than Brown to see his former goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker plotting the Canaries' rescue act in their respective roles as manager, assistant manager, first team coach and chief scout.

And as they try to save the club from relegation to League One, the new regime have been given a big thumbs-up by the Milk Cup-winning boss, who has seen all but one of City's home matches since they took charge.


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“I know they're doing their utmost to get it right and I think they're on the right track,” he said.

“It was a difficult time for them to come in but I was delighted with the recent results, especially at Birmingham, which is a very hard place to go.

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“None of the games is going to be easy but I'm really hoping everything goes well and they keep out of trouble - and I think they can do it.”

Brown signed Deehan in 1981 and the striker featured in two promotion campaigns and the Milk Cup win of 1985. Crook, Gunn and Butterworth all arrived in the space of a few months in 1986 and, in their first season with the club, they helped the team managed by Brown and coached by Mel Machin to fifth place in Division One, at the time City's highest ever finish.

Brown said he was “more than chuffed” to see his former players in charge.

“I was absolutely delighted for them when I heard and it was nice to be invited to see them all at Colney,” he said.

“You can't say which of your players will go into management, but what I would say is that they were all very good professionals and very successful.

“If they have learned something from me and from Mel on the coaching side, then I'm very pleased.

“It's very satisfying, but of course they were Mel's players as well, and Dave Stringer's when he took over.

“They have all got their own ideas but I'd like to think they enjoyed their stay under our control.”

Gunn is on the shortlist for the Coca-Cola Championship Manager of the Month award after his side took 10 points from five games in March. He is nominated alongside Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, Sheffield United's Kevin Blackwell and Owen Coyle of Burnley, with the winner to be announced today .

The former goalkeeper is just the latest in an exhaustive list of Brown's Norwich signings to have moved into football management, many in high-profile jobs.

Wigan have a trio of one-time Brown recruits in charge with Steve Bruce manager, Keith Bertschin reserve team boss and Dave Watson as Academy coach, while Mike Phelan is Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Old Trafford.

“He's done very, very well at Manchester United, but he was always that type, very studious,” said Brown.

Across the city, Mark Bowen is number two at Manchester City, while Steve Walford is assistant to another Brown signing, Martin O'Neill, at Aston Villa. Chris Woods is goalkeeping coach at Everton and Ian Culverhouse assistant manager at Colchester.

Brown's son, Kenny, has also made his mark in management. He took Welsh team Barry Town into the Champions League and is currently in charge of Spanish club C D Javea.

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