I had to take City job - Crook

David Cuffley Ian Crook today looked ahead to his first match as Norwich City first team coach and admitted: “This is the only club I would have come back for.”The 45-year-old former midfielder is back at work at Colney after returning from Australia to become part of Bryan Gunn's new management team.

David Cuffley

Ian Crook today looked ahead to his first match as Norwich City first team coach and admitted: “This is the only club I would have come back for.”

The 46-year-old former midfielder is back at work at Colney after returning from Australia to become part of Bryan Gunn's new management team and will be on duty for the first time in tomorrow night's Championship game against Southampton at Carrow Road (7.45pm).

He was given a sharp reminder of English weather conditions at a wet and windy first training session yesterday but said he would not have missed the chance to rejoin the Canaries.


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Said Crook: “I've spoken many times about the opportunity to come back. It's something that's always excited me and it hasn't happened in previous times for whatever reasons, but this time thankfully it did. It wasn't too long to make a decision.

“We'd always spoken as a family many, many times before about if it ever did come up, what would we do, so we pretty much had the answers.

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“I think it would have been the only club I would have come back for.

“I've had opportunities at two other places over the last two or three years but we felt with the lifestyle we had in Australia, it wasn't worth coming back for, but this certainly was.

“I spoke to the club two or three years ago when Granty (Peter Grant) got the job and how close I got, I don't know - not close enough, obviously. I missed out on that then and the next time was when Glenn (Roeder) got the job and I was in Japan at the time but nothing ever materialised then.”

Crook admitted he was in at the deep end to an extent with three league games in eight days and it would take time to put his stamp on the side.

He said: “You'd love to have a situation where as a coach you can set some parameters the boys can work under, but we're not able to do that at the moment because the games are so thick and fast.

“You don't want players standing around the day before a game running through some structure because you want things to start to get short and sharper. It will pretty much be learning on the run, I suppose, over the next week and once we get into a weekly pattern, we can do more work in terms of shape and things like that.

“We did a session yesterday. It was great. In a lot of ways the place hasn't changed but in other ways it's just a totally different place. The buildings and the structure's still the same and the way the pitches are set out, but the thing that's blown me away is just the professionalism of it all now.”

He said he was confident there was enough ability in the squad to steer 19th-placed City out of danger.

“I've seen Norwich on a few occasions this year - some good results and some bad ones,” said Crook. “But for me, if you get good results, it shows there is something there. The bad results show another side as well, but certainly I believe there is enough quality in the dressing room to push up and get away from the trouble we're in at the moment.”

Gunn, who confirmed he had no fresh injury concerns for tomorrow's game after kicking off with a 4-0 win over Barnsley, welcomed his former team-mate back into his coaching team.

He said: “It was great to pick up the phone again and say to him 'Look, we've got an opportunity to work for the club again in a different capacity' and he just asked 'What time, what plane do you want me to get on?' I had to calm him down because I hadn't got the job at that stage.

“I think the commitment he's shown is commendable and it will show we mean to do the job right. It's not just an old pals' act.

“This guy has great experience of coaching teams, albeit on the other side of the world, and with some of the players he's worked with and managers he's worked with, I've no doubt he'll be a success at this club.”

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