Gunn targets new recruits after steering City to win
David Cuffley Bryan Gunn had no time today to reflect on his "amazing" day in charge of Norwich City as he set about trying to strengthen the first team squad. While the players enjoyed Monday off after their 4-0 Championship victory over Barnsley, their 45-year-old caretaker boss was back to his duties as head of recruitment with a fortnight of the January transfer window to go.
Bryan Gunn had no time today to reflect on his "amazing" day in charge of Norwich City as he set about trying to strengthen the first team squad.
While the players enjoyed Monday off after their 4-0 Championship victory over Barnsley, their 45-year-old caretaker boss was back to his duties as head of recruitment with a fortnight of the January transfer window to go.
"A lot of agents are calling in now, it's a busy time, so it's an opportunity to find out who might be available in the window and then make recommendations to the chairman and the board of directors to see if we can maybe freshen the squad up," said Gunn. "We have 18 games left and it will be crucial that we keep the squad at the level it is and, if not, better."
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City's big win, three days after Glenn Roeder was sacked as manager, earned the players an extra breather.
"They've got a couple of days off over the weekend," said Gunn. "They're going to come in for a fitness programme Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and re-focus on the football side of things later in the week.
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"With us not being in the FA Cup, it's given us the opportunity to give the players a little bit of time off. It's been quite traumatic for them as well so they've got a few days off and that will free up a bit more time to concentrate on recruitment matters."
Gunn revealed that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, his former boss at Aberdeen, was among the well-wishers to phone before Saturday's game, and he asked his advice on his team talk. He said: "I had a nice little phone call from Sir Alex this morning. I asked him 'What will I say?' and he just said 'togetherness', and 'play as a team' and that was it. It was a simple message.
"I just mentioned to the players that that was one of the messages I received today, from the best manager in the world."
Former City manager John Deehan and coach Steve Foley were among others to send good luck messages, said Gunn.
He said: "A lot of it was for me but a lot of it for the team as well. I told them there are a lot of people out there that want you to do well. When you do well, you've got an opportunity to go down in the history books like the guys on the pitch today, from the 58-59 FA Cup run. I mentioned those in the build-up to the game. I mentioned my own experiences and the fact that you can in a few years' time make a big mark on this club and be a hero as well, so some of those guys on the pitch today will be part of our legends in years to come.
"I didn't need to say a lot. They had jobs to do - the tactical side, the set-pieces and things like that we talked through on Thursday. We had an inkling of what team we wanted to play and wanted everyone to have an opportunity to be fit for the game, hence the reason for not naming the team until a quarter to two. Probably the most difficult decision was leaving Elliott Omozusi out of the 16, but we wanted to go with a positive bench. That was awkward because that's the first time I have ever had to look at a player and say that he wasn't featuring."
Full-back Adam Drury was the other main absentee with a knee injury, but he should be fit for the visit of Southampton a week tomorrow.