Gunn ready for big shot

David Cuffley Bryan Gunn is confident he will be a fast learner in his new role as Norwich City's caretaker boss.The Canaries' former goalkeeping hero arrived at Colney training centre yesterday to find a moped with L-plates parked in the manager's space.

David Cuffley

Bryan Gunn is confident he will be a fast learner in his new role as Norwich City's caretaker boss.

The Canaries' former goalkeeping hero arrived at Colney training centre yesterday to find a moped with L-plates parked in the manager's space.

The 45-year-old Gunn can take a joke, but is deadly serious about his responsibilities after being put in charge of the first team for today's Championship home game against Barnsley, following the sacking of Glenn Roeder.


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“As the person who's parked in the manager's car park space today, one of my first jobs in charge of first team matters is asking them to move that,” he said.

“It's got L-plates on it and I've probably got L-plates on as well but I'd like to think I've experienced a lot in my footballing career and taken little snippets from lots of people and it's a great honour for me to be given the opportunity in the first place.”

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Gunn has his own coaching qualifications, but he believes the job is about more than certificates.

He said: “I did my UEFA B licence when I was 23 with Alex McLeish and Eric Black and people like that. I went back to Keele University last summer and had to update it and started my UEFA B fast track.

“I don't think badges are overly important. They are important in terms of rules and regulations but as for being in charge of first team matters I don't think anyone's going to chuck me out of a directors' box or technical area. In Tommy Wright and Ricky Martin we've got two people fully qualified in their own right and experience in the backroom staff behind the scenes as well.”

Gunn is determined that it will be very much a team effort while he is in charge of the Canaries.

Goalkeeping coach Tommy Wright, the former Ballymena boss, and academy manager Ricky Martin have taken training under Gunn's supervision for the past two days and were due to be on the bench as his assistants for today's game.

“I think working with the backroom staff the main focus should be on the team. The team is very important in this,” he said.

Asked if he would be interested in the job beyond today's game, Gunn said: “I'll tell you at five o'clock.”

The caretaker boss revealed that there had been tears among the backroom staff at Colney when the sacking of Roeder and his first team coaches was announced.

“Wednesday was a very sad day, particularly for the backroom staff,” said Gunn.

“I've been around and seen things like this happen on a few occasions and I must admit there were tears shed, by myself as well.

“All the backroom staff had great respect for Glenn, and his family as well.

“I think it's important to point out that there are a lot of people affected and we'd built up a good working relationship.

“Glenn told everyone his thoughts and said it was the best backroom staff he'd ever worked with. And Paul Stephenson and his family, and Adam Sadler, our thoughts are with them and it was difficult lifting our spirits yesterday morning.”

Gunn was asked to take over training by the club's chief executive.

He said: “I got the phonecall from Neil Doncaster at seven o'clock on Wednesday night, asking me what my thoughts were on taking training and being in charge of the dressing room and backroom staff for Thursday. And then about six o'clock last night I also got the nod that I'd be in charge of first team matters for the weekend.”

City's temporary management team had a string of injuries to check on before today's game, but on-loan defender Jonathan Grounds was available again after being ineligible for the FA Cup tie against Charlton and striker Jamie Cureton was back after being recalled from his loan spell at Barnsley.

Defenders Jon Otsemobor, Adam Drury and Ryan Bertrand and forward Wes Hoolahan were all fitness concerns - Otsemobor for a chest problem.

“He has had tests and he trained fully on Thursday,” said Gunn. “It's an ongoing test Jon's got and I fully expect him to be available for selection.”

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