Iwan: How Roeder can get Hucks firing

DAVID CUFFLEY Glenn Roeder can get Darren Huckerby firing on all cylinders as he aims to steer Norwich City out of the Championship danger zone - according to the ex-Canary hero who played alongside both men.


Glenn Roeder can get Darren Huckerby firing on all cylinders as he aims to steer Norwich City out of the Championship danger zone - according to the ex-Canary hero who played alongside both men.

Former star striker Iwan Roberts, whose time as a youngster at Watford overlapped with Roeder's first season at Vicarage Road as a player in 1989-90, reckons the new man at Carrow Road has what it takes to get the best out of an ailing squad.

Said Roberts: “I had about a season and a half with Glenn at Watford. I think he's an absolute gentleman and I can't speak highly enough of him.

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“He helped me a great deal with his experience and any problems that the young lads had they knew he would help them with.

“I was delighted when I heard he had a chance at Norwich and I'm pleased someone like him has got the job.

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“He's an experienced man and he's been manager at one of the biggest clubs in the country in a very pressurised job.”

Roberts, 39, believes Roeder's measured approach to the job will win over the players now under his charge.

He said: “The players will respect him. He's not a ranter and a raver, but he will put his arm round their shoulders and get the best out of them and he'll certainly get the best out of Darren Huckerby, you can bet on it.

“It's a tough job with the position Norwich have got themselves into. I don't think the board could have made the same mistake again of appointing a manager with no experience.

“Maybe one or two people will be disappointed Paul Jewell didn't get the job but I'm sure if anyone can get City out of trouble, Glenn can.”

Roberts, third in City's all-time scoring list with 96 goals, also believes history can repeat itself as another City manager faces Ipswich in his first game in charge.

The last Norwich boss to kick off his reign with an East Anglian derby was Bryan Hamilton in a Division One clash in March 2000.

It was Roberts' two first-half goals at Portman Road that gave Hamilton a winning start and provided the Canaries with one of their best remembered victories over the old enemy.

The former Wales international believes Roeder has every chance of following suit, despite City's dire run of form, with just one point from the last eight games.

He said: "The good thing about derbies is form goes out of the window. It's a cup final for everyone.

"I don't think Glenn would have had it any other way. I don't think he would have settled for anything less as opposition. It gives him a chance to get everybody on his side. He's got a few days to work some magic."

Roberts vividly remembers his famous double from seven years ago.

He said: "It was Bryan Hamilton's first game. Ipswich were flying and we were struggling a bit.”

One man who should also remember the day is Town boss Jim Magilton.

"Jim was playing for Ipswich that day," said Roberts "There is no doubt he is doing a good job there as manager now and, win, lose or draw on Sunday, I'm sure he will continue to do so."

As to his own plans, Roberts admitted he had not registered an interest in the City vacancy because he felt they were certain to look for an experienced manager after Peter Grant's departure.

He said: "I tried to go for it last time knowing I wasn't going to get it but I'd never really been for an interview and I thought if I did it would stand me in good stead. But I never got a response from the club and that really disappointed me.

"A week after Peter Grant got the job I got a letter through the post saying 'We won't be considering you this time'.

"And I thought 'I've known that for the past seven days'.”

Roberts, who has the UEFA A coaching licence and currently works for BBC Wales, has not ruled out getting into management.

"I've done my qualifications. It's just getting a club to give me a chance and taking it," he said.

t Newcastle reserve team boss Lee Clark could be a possible target for City's new boss Glenn Roeder as he looks to add two new names to his coaching staff. In June, 2006, Roeder appointed Clark as a first team coach and as reserve team manager at Newcastle following Tommy Craig's departure. Prior to that, Clark was in the Fulham side that beat City 6-0 to condemn them to relegation from the Premiership in 2005.

t Former Ipswich boss and City striker Joe Royle has confirmed he is talking to Leicester about the manager's job.

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