Butterworth - I want to put it right
Michael Bailey Assistant manager Ian Butterworth has admitted being part of Norwich City's Championship relegation makes him all the more determined to help put things right next season, if he is given the chance.
Assistant manager Ian Butterworth has admitted being part of Norwich City's Championship relegation makes him all the more determined to help put things right next season, if he is given the chance.
The former Canaries captain rejoined the club in February to team up with Bryan Gunn and Ian Crook, as the coaching trio looked to instigate a Championship salvage operation from the wreckage of Glenn Roeder's era.
And although it ended in failure and the reality of League One football at Carrow Road next season, the pain of relegation makes Butterworth even more desperate to help the club recover.
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“Exactly right, of course you do; I'm determined, I can't wait because obviously I would like to be part of the future here at Norwich City and I think we had our hands tied a little bit,” said Butterworth.
“This is not our team, we were only here for just over two months so we just had to get the best out of what we'd got and, at the end of the day, we didn't make it.
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“But I'd like to be part of it and can't wait to get about building the future of Norwich City.”
Should the three City heroes continue in their current roles for the Canaries' first season in the third tier of English football for nearly 50 years, Butterworth acknowledged the club's reliance on loan players would be a thing of the past.
“You want contracted players,” he admitted. “You're obviously going to need one or two loan players but 17 loan players in one season is poor really, and for whatever reason that came about, that can't happen again.
“We want players who we can sweat the yellow and green blood out of them to perform for Norwich City and that's the key really, our own players where we can work with them and hopefully get this club back on track.”
As it stands, the future of Team Butterworth, Gunn and Crook is yet to be decided; initial board meetings have been held but as yet, nothing has been confirmed ahead of next season.
“We've had a couple of meetings this week and they've been very positive and hopefully something will be sorted out,” said Butterworth, as the wait continues.
“When we came to the club there were one or two problems that have been well documented and were not going to be solved in two months. So I'd like to think we're all going to be positive and make sure this football club gets back on the right track.”
Arguably Butterworth has the experience to do just that, having been number two at Cardiff for their play-off appearance in 2002 and promotion the following season.
His previous job at Hartlepool also saw him help establish the northerners as a League One side.
“It's a tough league,” said Butterworth. “You've got to attract a certain kind of player. No disrespect to Carlisle but you might have to trek up to Carlisle on a Saturday and then get up for Hartlepool on Tuesday, and the character has got to be strong from players and you've got to be up for it all the time, because Norwich City will still be classed as a so called bigger club.
“Leeds have found this out over the last couple of seasons. They never went straight back up, Forest didn't. Obviously Leicester were lucky and they did very well doing it after the one year, but we'll find that next year everyone will raise their game against Norwich City, so we have to be up for it.
“It'll be a cup final for the sides like the Yeovils, Hartlepools and Stockports, so difficult - but not insurmountable.”
And have any of the current City squad admitted they do not fancy the battle?
“That's what all these meetings are with the manager at the moment, so we'll find that out over the next couple of weeks and hopefully we've got a squad with new additions which will challenge in League One; but obviously there's a few more problems that need to be sorted out before that,” he added.
Butterworth was speaking at the 25th anniversary celebrations at Hillside Rovers, a youth football club at which the City assistant has been president since his playing days.
But on a day with plenty of community smiles in Thorpe St Andrew, the pain of the Canaries' relegation has yet to subside.
“It was a very, very, very sad moment for myself,” said Butterworth. “It was the first time I have been relegated as a player or as a coach, so it was a sad day and it was a sad day for Norwich City and the supporters, and we must put that right to be fair.
“With the money which has been invested with Delia over the last few years, it was a sad day for every Norwich City fan.
“But these things happen in football and the best thing is to forget the past and hopefully have a plan for the future.”