The old one-two can give City hope – Rob
DAVID CUFFLEY A managerial one-two between Mark Bowen and Ian Crook was today hailed as a potential winner for Norwich City - by another of the club's UEFA Cup stars.
A managerial one-two between Mark Bowen and Ian Crook was today hailed as a potential winner for Norwich City - by another of the club's UEFA Cup stars.
Rob Newman, part of the same side that beat Bayern Munich on their own ground 13 years ago, reckons the former team-mates' long Carrow Road connections would give them a head start in trying to revive the Canaries' fortunes after the sacking of Nigel Worthington.
Newman said he did not know if there was a realistic possibility of Blackburn assistant manager Bowen and Sydney FC assistant coach Crook being reunited at Norwich, but he argued that they would have a “feel” for the club that outside candidates did not possess.
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“As for whether they would want to do it, you're asking the wrong person. It would be wrong for me to speculate,” said the 42-year-old former defender.
“But I think they would do a good job. Ian has carved out a successful career in Australia and I've seen at first hand what Mark's done with Blackburn, Wales and before that at Birmingham.
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“I've seen him at work as recently as last year. He's very, very professional, very disciplined and committed to the cause. He's working with Premiership and international players. Mark's his own person.”
Crook played 418 games in 11 years with City and Bowen made 399 appearances in nine years.
“Both of them have a lot of respect here and have an affection for the club and know what Norwich City is about, and I think fans would be more likely to be patient with them than with someone completely from outside,” said Newman.
“Obviously it's a massive job. It's important to get the right men for the football club and that everyone is happy with it, from the top down to the bottom, from the board to the fans.”
Former Southend and Cambridge United boss Newman said it was vital for City's new boss to make them feared again.
He said: “I was watching the Burnley game on Sunday and, like everyone else, I was disappointed with what happened. It's not very nice. I know how Nigel was feeling because it has happened to me.
“If you look at the teams before Sunday's game, you wouldn't have wanted to swap any one of Norwich's players for anyone from Burnley, but after the game you might have swapped all 11.
“It's got to be changed quickly. There are a lot of points to be played for and whoever comes in has to get them firing on all cylinders.
“They should be one of the best teams, in the top three or four in the division, and they proved that in the first months of the season.
“There needs to be that fear factor, like the season they won the championship. Teams playing Norwich feared them but they probably don't at the moment.
“They have to get that fire in their belly and the work ethic to go with their technical ability.
“The players have got to be up for it and a lot of that is down to the manager.”
Newman, sacked by Cambridge since the start of the season, said he had not applied for the vacancy himself but would welcome the chance to be part of the City coaching team.
He said: “Where I have worked in management doesn't warrant being considered for a club like Norwich but if an opportunity came up in the coaching team I'd be a fool not to consider it.
“I would love the opportunity to be part of the new generation, the future of Norwich.
“I have managed two teams in the lower leagues and have been up against it financially at both of them.
“Where we finished at Cambridge last year, 12th in the Conference, was more than making the best out of it, but people don't remember that. We didn't start off well this season and the people coming in decided they wanted a change.
“I know what I can offer. I've got all my coaching badges, the certificates are on the wall but I'm not able to put them to use at the moment. I've got my A licence and plan to do the pro licence next. I'm doing a bit of scouting work and that's all at the moment.”