New boss will have to move fast in transfer market
Chris Lakey Job number one for Bryan Gunn was a familiar one yesterday - to look for new recruits.One of those is likely to be an assistant manager as Gunn looks to complete a backroom team that already includes former midfielder Ian Crook and John Deehan, as chief scout.
Job number one for Bryan Gunn was a familiar one yesterday - to look for new recruits.
One of those is likely to be an assistant manager as Gunn looks to complete a backroom team that already includes former midfielder Ian Crook and John Deehan, as chief scout.
But it's players Gunn needs - and having been head of recruitment since May last year and, with just 12 days of the transfer window remaining, he will have to act fast to shore up his squad.
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“I've been doing that for the last six months so it's been even more active in the last six hours,” he said.
“That's something we'll sit down and think about after we finish with the press today. It's important that we have a squad that we think is capable of winning games in this division and the squad that played and took part on Saturday proved that they can do that.
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“But I think with a little bit of tinkering there might be opportunities to bring some fresh faces in before the deadline and certainly make the competition for places and give the manager, me, difficult choices which I'm looking forward to.”
The Gunn appointment means his mobile telephone rings even more than usual - with congratulations, good luck messages and sales pitches vying for his attention.
“At this time as well it's very active and agents telephone you,” he said. “I like to do things in a different way. I like to approach clubs to see if their players are available, like I spoke to (Birmingham manager) Alex McLeish concerning John (Deehan) the other day. So hopefully I'll be able to get some of the managers' mobile numbers and make a few calls and speak to them and find out what players they've got available and then make assessments.
“It's a great help that John's been out on the same circuit. We bumped into each other a number of times this season and he always left before me. We bumped into each other and he's got a great understanding of players and what clubs need of players so hopefully between the two of us we might have spotted the same player already and it might be an easy process then to recommend that to the board that we sign.
“We are going to have to be quick because there are only 12 or 13 days left but certainly we have been active already.”
Crook, who is uprooting from Australia where he has been working as high performance manager with the Newcastle Jets in the country's A-League, will have his own, unique contacts.
“He has contacts in that part of the world so it opens up new avenues for the club,” said Gunn.
“That placement of Ian is done with dual purpose - coming in as a Norwich City legend, as somebody I know the players will respond to and if he gets on the training pitch himself and puts a few of those long passes in I think they'll be more than impressed. But I think his coaching techniques will be very impressive as well. He's worked under some big names over there in Australia and Japan so we're looking forward to seeing him.”