Fans' reaction to Gunn's appointment as manager

Kim Briscoe Fans have welcomed the appointment of Norwich City legend Bryan Gunn as manager, but say they fear his relationship with supporters could turn sour if results on the pitch go badly.

Kim Briscoe

Fans have welcomed the appointment of Norwich City legend Bryan Gunn as manager, but say they fear his relationship with supporters could turn sour if results on the pitch go badly.

The goalkeeping hero will be supported by green and yellow favourite Ian Crook as first team coach and former goal ace and manager John Deehan as chief scout.

John Tilson, chairman of Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association, said he was a “bit stunned” that the board had gone for quite so much green and yellow pedigree in one management team.


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He said: “Every single Norwich City fan wants success and will want success for this management team and the football club.

“I still think the board will be criticised for taking the cheap and easy emotional option.

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“They've made mistakes before no having people with vast Norwich City experience - well they have gone a bit overboard this time with three legends of the football club.

“I just want these guys to succeed and I'm sure the fans will too.

“Neil Doncaster said our players would have been like 'lambs to the slaughter' if they had gone into the Barnsley game under Roeder. Now these three legends will be 'lambs to the slaughter' if it doesn't go right before the end of the season and these are three guys we really don't want to put in that position.”

Capital Canaries chairman Ian Russell said he was delighted for Bryan Gunn, who is president of Capital Canaries.

He said: “No one knows the club better than Gunny. I had a feeling they would go for Norwich City blood and they have certainly done that by also bringing in Crook and Deehan.

“I'm sure everyone will be 100pc behind him to try and turn things around.

“It is my understanding that Bryan Gunn has always wanted to be the manager of the football club so I guess he's always been prepared.”

Tim Amphlett, of Yarmouth Yellows, said: “I suppose they have gone for people that have Norwich City in their blood.

“My big worry is that Gunn has gone from no managerial experience straight into managing a team fighting for against relegation.

“I don't know how tactically aware he is.

“I don't think you can base how well a person is going to do on just one match and I think it was always going to be one that we won anyway."

Mr Amphlett also said he was worried about things going badly for the trio.

He said: "Deehan was regarded as a good player but as a manager things didn't go right for him and went a bit sour. For some he is now remembered as the person in charge of a failed team as opposed to what he was known as before."

Mike Reynolds, of the Norwich City Supporters' Trust, said his own personal view was that it was a wise move financially and would buy the board time to make the right long-term choice over the summer.

He said: “It certainly gives the board time to consider the future when we know where we will be at the end of the season.

“I think the fear we all have as fans is that it's inevitable that at some time that every manager performs badly, unless it happens to be Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, and the fans will turn and it would be a very sad day if that happened because Bryan has done so much for the community and for Norfolk.

“Whoever you appoint as the manager there's always going to be part of the supporter base who will be saying they are not their choice.

“I think some will be saying Gunn's a fairly safe pair of hands for the time being.

“At the end of the season there will be a greater pool of managers to select from and of course some of them come free at the end of the season and you don't have to buy off contracts.”

Tim East, City fan and Costessey councillor, said: “We've got the best of all worlds, people who are committed to Norwich City and who have played and been associated with the club for a long time. They all know what they are talking about.

“It has been a very, very wise decision. They did the right thing in dismissing Roeder because it was a shambles under his reign and now they've gone for someone I would have chosen myself. In my view, it reassures people and supporters particularly that the board is in control and they can make reasonable decisions. I have more confidence in them than what I've had for a long time.”

Charles Clarke, MP for Norwich South, said the appointments were really bringing back the “green and yellow” to the football club.

He said: “All my congratulations to Bryan, it's a fantastic thing, he deserves it very much. I hope that he will be able to engender the optimism and team spirit that will take the team forward to greater success.”

Dr Ian Gibson, City fan and MP for Norwich North, said it was “absolutely marvellous” news. He said: “Gunny is a gentle Scot but can make hard decisions. I'm pleased for him and his family so will be cheering for him from the stands.”

He said it was “great” to hear that Ian Crook would also be making a return to the city. He added: “He was one of the best midfielders we've ever had. We are very, very lucky and very blessed.”

Gunn's daughter Melissa set up a group on social networking website Facebook entitled “Bryan Gunn for manager”.

With her dad overseeing the Canaries' morale boosting 4-0 victory against Barnsley as interim manager at Carrow Road on Saturday, the 17-year-old posted an impassioned speech on why he should be made manager.

Nearly 2,000 people had joined the group by this morning.

In comparison, a rival group entitled “Bryan Gunn NOT for Norwich City manager” had garnered just 29 members. Opposition to Gunny as manager appears to be centred on fans concerns that he could spoil his special place in the club's history.

What do you think of the new management team? Send us your opinion by email to eveningnews@archant.co.uk

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