Loan aces bring quality

Manager Bryan Gunn is convinced that his loan recruits represent the quality of player Norwich City need on a permanent basis to make an impact next season.

Manager Bryan Gunn is convinced that his loan recruits represent the quality of player Norwich City need on a permanent basis to make an impact next season.

For now, Gunn has only one target in mind - securing Championship status in the remaining six games of the campaign.

But as the City boss today planned to complete the extension of striker David Mooney's loan from Reading for the rest of the season to help him achieve that task, he said his temporary signings had the right credentials for making the club more of a force in 2009-10.

Determined not to look too far ahead with his survival operation far from complete, Gunn said: “The summer will take care of itself. At the moment we have a group of players who can help me and the club achieve the mission we set out to complete in January, to stay in the Championship.

“After that we can start thinking about what we do from there.”

Mooney, fellow forwards Alan Gow, Alan Lee and David Carney, ex-City defender Jason Shackell and Australian defender Adrian Leijer all played their part in City's revival of fortunes in March, as did season-long loan Ryan Bertrand at full-back.

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Said Gunn: “There might be opportunities to talk to their parent clubs about them and I'm sure if they continue to show the form they are in and excite the fans the way they do, and we stay in the Championship, that will make it easier for a manager to go to a board of directors and say 'These are the type of players we need at this club if we're going to make an impact next season'.

“Certainly they're doing themselves no harm at the moment but on the other side of it, they are not our players. It's a bit of a Catch 22 situation. We want them to do well for us but their clubs are looking at them in every game as well, so they've got the opportunity to bring them back into their own environment and use them as they see fit.

“I think the standard of player we have now is the kind of player this club will need to take the next step forward and make sure we're not in the situation where we're battling against relegation. These are the type of players that we'll need.”

Mooney's initial loan runs out after Saturday's home game against Sheffield Wednesday, but looks certain to be extended before then.

“That just needs to be tidied up today,” said Gunn. “If it goes through, we are looking forward to having David for the remaining month of the season but unfortunately he won't be able to play against Reading. But in the other games, we are certainly looking forward to having his contribution in those matches. He's one who has come in alongside Alan Gow then partnered Alan Lee and adapted his game to suit the circumstances.

“Reading beat a host of clubs to his signature and paid good money but he didn't make the breakthrough. The fact he has come here and scored his goals, I suppose, must help him settle and the crowd have enjoyed his style of play, his enthusiasm and the fact that he's a goalscorer and takes chances.

“We're glad that we've got him and hope that will continue through to the last game at Charlton.”

Winger Lee Croft was expected to return to training today after missing the 1-1 draw at Birmingham with an ankle injury.

Goalkeeper Declan Rudd, sidelined by a knee ligament strain, should also be back in training by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Gunn was awaiting the return of four senior players from international duty.

Sammy Clingan played in Northern Ireland's 1-0 win over Slovenia in the World Cup qualifier in Belfast last night, but Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall did not feature even on the bench against Iceland, and on-loan winger David Carney was facing a long flight back from Sydney after he was an unused substitute in Australia's 2-0 victory over Uzbekistan.

Bertrand played for England Under-20s against Italy on Tuesday night.