Gunn calls for players to stay positive

Jonathan Redhead Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn has admitted thinking about players for next season - but wants his squad to guarantee a place in the Coca-Cola Championship before he can put any plans into action.

Jonathan Redhead

Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn has admitted thinking about players for next season - but wants his squad to guarantee a place in the Coca-Cola Championship before he can put any plans into action.

In recent days, the likes of Simon Lappin and on-loan striker Alan Lee have said they would like to stay at Carrow Road beyond the current campaign, while winger Lee Croft is mulling over his future and a contract lies in wait for youngster Michael Spillane on his return from a season-long loan at Luton.

Carl Cort and Mark Fotheringham are other Canaries who could find themselves out of contract when the season comes to an end.

And while the City boss says he can fully understand players wanting to prolong their time in Norfolk, they must do the job on the pitch first.

“I'm starting to think, and I have been thinking about all of those situations,” Gunn said.

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“I think it's important that there are thoughts in place and conversations in place, but I don't think anything can be guaranteed until 3,15pm on May 3 at Charlton.

“That is unfortunately the scenario that we're in that there are opportunities for not only players but staff to contemplate their futures.

“But this is a scenario where we need to be all in this together. We'll be working with the players to make sure they're in the right frame of mind, the right physical condition to get them on the pitch. That's not only the coaching and technical staff but the medical staff and the sports science that we have.

“Everyone around the training ground has the positive frame of mind that we need to keep believing, that we will get ourselves out of this situation.

“We've had a lot of hard luck along the way but we need to keep believing and hope that that luck will change, and if we don't get any luck we need to do it in our own way.

“We're not taking anything for granted, certainly with five games left to go.”

Gunn himself is one of many players who have been seduced by life in Norfolk since arriving way back in 1986 and says the lure of the club and the county is one that cannot be ignored.

“I don't blame them (for wanting to stay),” he said.

“The players that have been here and have come here, find out what a great football club it is

“Many people who have left this club have found out that the grass is not always greener. There might be better financial gains and other opportunities, but as a football club and as a quality of life in this area, you won't get a better place.

“But we need to make sure this club is in the Championship, then we need to refocus and regroup and the future can be looked at then.

“Certainly at this present moment, I think the focus has got to be on Swansea and Watford. There are old adages, and people say 'one game at a time' and this is where that adage comes into place.

“You look no further than that. Three points is what you play for and that's what we want to try to come out with, certainly after Saturday's game.”

One man who has entered Gunn's thinking this year and may do again is Cardiff City's Darren Purse. The Bluebirds defender was close to a move to Norwich in the January transfer window until the Welsh side pulled the plug.

Purse is out of contract in the summer and has hit out at the club to show him a 'respect' regarding his future.

But his club have hit back and outlined exactly what the future holds for the 32-year-old - and that could mean a move to the Canaries, providing Cardiff are promoted to the top-flight.

Cardiff boss, David Jones said: “Of course we have talked to Darren. That was done during January and he knows the situation.

“Darren has been spoken to and shown the respect that he says he hasn't.

“It's club business and it will be dealt with in the manner we always do here. Darren knows the situation - he's still here until the end of the season when his contract runs out.”

Chairman Peter Ridsdale expanded further, stating: “I'm confused by what Darren has said because the manager and I sat down with him three days before the end of the transfer window.

“He wanted to sign for Norwich City, but we could not find an adequate replacement and he remained.

“We explained at that meeting if City are still in the Championship we would talk about the possibility of another contract. We also said that if we are promoted to the Premier then we could be looking elsewhere.”