Pulis confidante expects a 'thanks, but no thanks'

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has been ruled out of the running for the vacant Norwich City manager's job by his coach and confidante Mark O'Connor. . He is expected to say “thanks, but no thanks” even if Norwich were granted permission to make an approach.

Tony Pulis has been ruled out of the running for the vacant Norwich City manager's job.

He is expected to say “thanks, but no thanks” even if Norwich were granted permission to approach the Stoke City manager.

That's the verdict of his coach and confidante Mark O'Connor as reports continue to link Pulis with the Norwich vacancy.

“It's flattering, but there's nothing concrete until someone makes an approach,” said O'Connor.

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”I know Tony is happy here, but when people put things in the paper they will ask that question.”

Indeed, Pulis' healthy relationship with chairman Peter Coates is likely to hold sway in the unlikely event that Stoke would ever grant Norwich permission to speak to their manager in the first place.

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The Canaries have reportedly interviewed Phil Parkinson, Steve Tilson, and Martin Allen already, while former Stoke City boss Steve Cotterill is another potential front-runner along with Glenn Roeder.

But Pulis' record over the past 12 months (81 points from 46 league games) also appears to have impressed the Norwich hierarchy.

Pulis himself had been declining to comment for fear of stoking the fires, but is reported to have ruled himself out totally on Radio Five Live last night.

Meanwhile, Blackpool's in-demand young boss Simon Grayson admitted yesterday he was flattered to be linked with the vacant Norwich City hot seat.

Grayson has been strongly linked with the managerless Canaries, along with a return to former club Leicester following the midweek departure of Gary Megson.

The 38-year-old was forced to interrupt his pre-match preparations for Blackpool's Championship trip to Sheffield Wednesday to address growing speculation over his future.

“I'm employed by the club and until I'm told differently by someone else I am here,” he said. “It is flattering to be linked with those sorts of clubs (Norwich and Leicester). Obviously I am Blackpool manager and all I am concentrating on is winning the game at Sheffield Wednesday. I'll be doing my utmost to help this club get three points. So I'm flattered to be linked but I'm just getting on with what I am doing.

“Everybody is professional enough to deal with the situation. When you've a team that is doing well, then certain players will be linked with moves. Sometimes the manager is also linked - that's just what happens in football all the time. It happens in every division. People at the most successful teams will always be linked with a move away.”

Grayson has established the Seasiders in the Championship this season after earning League One promotion in the Wembley play-off final. The former Blackburn and Aston Villa defender succeeded Colin Hendry at Bloomfield Road in November 2005. Reports in Suffolk yesterday also hinted City's selection panel had sounded out Sir Bobby Robson regarding Steve Staunton, who was dismissed as Republic of Ireland boss earlier this week.

Ü West Brom boss Tony Mowbray has offered Peter Grant a route back into the game.

Mowbray revealed he wants his former Celtic colleague to help out on the coaching side at the Baggies.

“I've spoken to Peter Grant, who is a good friend of mine, since he left his position at the club,” confirmed Mowbray. “I've invited him to come and join in with our training anytime he wants because he's a good man and a good character. We'll see if he takes us up on that offer.”

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