New recruits in pipeline - Gunn
David Cuffley Norwich City boss Bryan Gunn is confident of having new faces in his squad by the time pre-season training gets under way. With the Canaries reporting back for fitness testing on Monday, June 29, Gunn has just over four weeks before then to start replacing the out-of-contract players and loan recruits who have departed since relegation to League One.
Norwich City boss Bryan Gunn is confident of having new faces in his squad by the time pre-season training gets under way.
With the Canaries reporting back for fitness testing on Monday, June 29, Gunn has just over four weeks before then to start replacing the out-of-contract players and loan recruits who have departed since relegation to League One.
The senior squad has thinned out dramatically since the closing weeks of the Championship season with goalkeeper David Marshall sold to Cardiff, winger Lee Croft talking to clubs after turning down a new deal, former skipper Mark Fotheringham, midfielder Robert Eagle and striker Carl Cort all released early, and eight loan players back at their clubs.
With seven of City's young professionals having just eight first team appearances between them, Gunn is well aware of the need to add some experience to his senior party.
Asked if he had a number in mind, he said: “I'd like as many as possible and we're working hard to do that at the moment. But it seems a very still period with a lot of players and managers away at the moment.
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“There have been a lot of conversations on the telephone but there is nothing concrete to announce. By June 29, I aim to have at least some new faces in place although the project could well go on until the middle of July as well.”
City's pre-season schedule of matches is at least nearing completion and Gunn said he was happy with the mix of opponents in seven first team friendlies, starting at Dartford on Saturday, July 11.
He said: “I have to be sure we hit the ground running on August 8, so preparation is very important for that.
“With the trip to Scotland, there are two games to finalise. It has been difficult to nail down the final two games.”
He said it was important to get as much match practice as possible after the initial fitness work.
“The players have gone away with the fitness programme prepared for them and they will be working hard on that before they are back on June 29,” he said.
“We have to be sure we are at least as fit as other teams and we can last the pace. Match fitness is the important thing - that's why we've got so many games.”
Fotheringham, one of those to have made his exit, is hoping to clinch a move to Spain, according to reports.
The 25-year-old Scottish midfielder will have trials with La Liga side Espanyol next week, claims the Scottish Daily Express. Fotheringham's contract with the Canaries was terminated by mutual consent before the end of the season after he fell out of favour and lost the captaincy to Gary Doherty. He made 76 appearances for City, scoring four times.