Gunn looking to get one over old pal

Bryan Gunn shares a touchline today with one of the men who convinced him to take the Norwich City manager's job - and wants to repay him by putting a major dent in his team's promotion hopes.

Bryan Gunn shares a touchline today with one of the men who convinced him to take the Norwich City manager's job - and wants to repay him by putting a major dent in his team's promotion hopes.

Gunn is battling to save the Canaries from the drop, while his old Aberdeen team-mate Alex McLeish is hoping to steer Birmingham the other way, and into the promised land of the Premier League.

McLeish is one of the men Gunn turned to two months ago when he was debating whether to take over the City hot-seat following the sacking of Glenn Roeder.

The answer was simple: yes.

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And now the two men, who played together north of the border in the 80s, will suspend an enduring friendship between 3pm 4.50pm today to pursue their individual ambitions.

The odds will be stacked against City, but Gunn couldn't care less. Will a point do? No way.

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“There's no sense in going for a point and you end up not getting any,” he said. “Go for three and you don't know what you're going to get so that's the positive attitude we will need to go for, certainly at this stage of the season.”

“Hopefully,” is his response when asked if McLeish can expect a surprise defeat.

“We speak on the phone all the time. We have got a great friendship with each other but come 3pm for 95 minutes we will obviously be concentrating on our own clubs and trying to achieve the result that each individual wants.”

“It's a game that I am really looking forward to, it's a position that I never thought I'd be in, standing next to one of my best mates in football and pitting our wits against each other.

“We have both come from the same school of learning so it will be an interesting day all round.

“Alec and I do speak and talk and we have talked in recent weeks in the build-up. He was one of the people I spoke to in my decision however many week ago it was to take the job so I have got a lot of respect for Alex McLeish.”

Not all members of Sir Alex Ferguson's successful Aberdeen team agreed with McLeish.

“It was Gordon Strachan who said retire at the top after the 4-0 victory against Barnsley,” said Gunn.

“Big Alex said, 'go for it, big man, it's a great role and you'd regret not going for it anyway'.

“They came to our game at Doncaster when there was an entourage of Championship managers and he said some nice stuff about the way we played, the way the teams have reacted. He will know everything about us. He would be my second pick on a quiz team because his knowledge of football and everything that happens in the world is second only to Sir Alex Ferguson.

“He is a very knowledgeable guy in football and in life and I have learned from him. I've been the boot boy - that's not easy, and been a friend over the course of the last 20-odd years.

“It's people like that you look up to and take advice from because of the knowledge they have got, the experiences they have had.

“He's been manager of Motherwell, Hibs, Rangers, Scotland and touted for quite a lot of jobs in the Premier League before he actually took the Birmingham job. So it's good to have people like that you can speak to.”

McLeish perhaps owes Gunn a favour.

“I was his boot boy at Aberdeen but he scored a goal in the Scottish Cup final with my boots on,” explained Gunn. “I'm not saying I forgot to pack his boots, but his boots weren't there and he had to wear my boots against Rangers in 1982, a 4-1 victory.

“It was a hell of a goal, he curled it in the top corner.”

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