Bryan Gunn backs Norwich City to maintain flying Premier League form

Mark Bunn has fitted in seamlessly since John Ruddy's injury, according to former manager and number one Bryan Gunn. Picture by Daniel Chesterton/Focus Images Mark Bunn has fitted in seamlessly since John Ruddy's injury, according to former manager and number one Bryan Gunn. Picture by Daniel Chesterton/Focus Images

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
11:57 AM

Canaries legend Bryan Gunn believes Norwich City can break into the higher reaches of the Premier League this season – if the players believe it too.

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Bryan Gunn during his spell as Norwich boss in 2009. Photo: Steve AdamsBryan Gunn during his spell as Norwich boss in 2009. Photo: Steve Adams

Chris Hughton’s charges made it 10 league games unbeaten with victory over Wigan on Saturday, with the Canaries settled in eighth position as the top-flight approaches the halfway mark.

The superb string of results, which topped City’s previous Premier League best enjoyed during Gunn’s playing days in 1993, is bettered only by Barcelona across Europe’s top five divisions.

And while all good things must come to an end eventually, Norwich fans will be hoping not only that it isn’t as early as Saturday’s trip to faltering West Bromwich Albion – but also that Gunn’s optimism over the rest of City’s season proves well founded.

“If they keep the same form, stay away from injuries and their confidence is still there, then they can certainly sustain what they are doing and if they have bit more luck and a bit more belief, and the home form stays – and I know the crowd will be right behind them at Carrow Road – they can sneak into the top six, top eight at the end of the season,” said Gunn.

“And that would be great credit to the coaching team that Chris Hughton has got there, as well the directors who have invested money in the squad.

“And the fact they will have that big cheque next season with the added TV revenue would set Norwich City up for years to come, so I’m delighted they are in this run of form.”

While Gunn’s time as City manager brought little cheer, the former goalkeeper’s recruitment of Grant Holt remains a key piece of business on which plenty of success has since been built. But there is one element Gunn sees as City’s big strength.

“It’s the team spirit they’ve got – when they score goals they celebrate together, when they defend they defend in tackles and blocked shots, and in that penalty area you will see lots of bodies flying about; they congratulate each other on those occasions as well and the team spirit looks very solid there at the moment,” added the Scot.

“There are players Paul Lambert had. Chris Hughton came in and made some of his own signings, and you’ve got the likes of Grant and Wes Hoolahan who have been there for a few years now, and been there through all the positive results that have happened in the last three seasons.

“So it has blended in very nicely for Chris, confidence is high and when you’ve got that confidence and team spirit going, you feel like you can go out on the pitch every week and get a result.”

It was a nasty injury to Gunn that helped bring a devastating slump in form and ultimately top-flight relegation for City in 1995.

And while John Ruddy could be back from thigh surgery in time for the final dozen matches of the season, Gunn feels Hughton’s recruitment of back-up Mark Bunn was an ideal move.

“We have all been number twos in our career and it’s one of the most frustrating positions,” said Gunn, speaking on the Premier League Podcast.

“Even outfield players get more opportunities of playing, but when you are a number two goalkeeper you don’t tend to get much first-team action apart from League Cup games or things like that these days.

“Chris Hughton at the start said he needed a bit more experience in his goalkeeper ranks. He’s got young Declan Rudd and Jed Steer as well, but he’s been proved right bringing Mark in.

“The injury to John Ruddy came as a great shock because he had been playing really well and got himself into the England squad. So to have someone come in and slot into the team, and not look out of sorts, is great credit to the scouting they have been doing behind the scenes to bring these players in at the beginning of the season.

“Mark has got an opportunity now to make the position his own. John will be back in a couple of months but certainly if Mark continues to play well, that gives Chris Hughton a nice headache when it comes round to choosing between the two goalkeepers.”

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15 comments

  • His managerial career may have been nothing to write home about, but the signing of Mr. Holt at least means he did something right!

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    Petethepunter

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • yes Gunny was one great City keeper,and as Pa Snipps says he was not cut out to be a manager. That reminds me i'm having honey roas.ted pa snipps at christmas

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • It is the kindness or newspapewrs, taewards the jocks both men and women from north of the boarder in covering up the way that many of them have difficulty in speaking the English language, or any other language come to think of it...... Awae the Noo on a braw brit moan lit nit to noo....... In Manchester, Spanish may be the language of choice or “El Paso the ball , Chuck”

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • "We have all been number twos in our career.." I resemble that remark.

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Good effort - lets find out from the guy who managed to get us relegated to League One what he thinks - unbelievable.

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    A fine city

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Wivenhoebudgie, I am pleased to hear that you will feast on a generous portion of Pa Snipps over the Christmas period. May you enjoy every tasty morsel!

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    Pa Snipps

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Better make a comment on Brian Gunn I suppose. He was and still is a big man in stature. He was the face of much fund raising in this area, and deserved recognition in civil circles. Nevertheless he was just a Goalkeeper in his chosen profession. My lasting memory concerning him, was having a completely failed attempt to kick the ball when receiving it as a reasonable back pass from his left back, resulting in a give-away goal. The look of disbelief on Robert Ullathorn's face, 'the culprit', said it all. He was sucked into the managers role and may have believed he could do it, but as an ex goalkeeper with little out field experience, where do you begin to instil a winning system into many young men with big egos. Sorry to say, but for him he lacked that ability.

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    Pa Snipps

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • I agree with a fine city 100%. Gunn made, I think, 9 signings, including loans. Where are Tudur Jones, Simon Whaley, Rhoys Wiggins, Kojak, Steven Hughes, Matt Gill, Cody McDonald, J-B Askou? Michael Nelson was a fine chap and performed to the top of his ability. Hughes & Gill were fair L1 players. The whole Gunn for Manager thing was orchestrated to the sentimental sound of violins by his undoubtedly sincere daughter, Melissa. But BG should have known he was not suited to that job. Twice. So should the Board. Twice. Delusional folly. Thankfully, it`s history now. Could never happen again.........

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, December 21, 2012

  • Golf outings and relegation sum up BG better than the fluke success of signing Holty. Let`s forget Wiggins, Whaley, Tudur Jones et al and, of course, the "Goalkeeping Legend`s" choice of goalkeeper, Michael "Kojak" Theoklitos. It was crass of the board to appoint him but he, as a grown-up, it culpable for lack of self analysis. He`d never displayed managerial ambition was his preference over Corpulent Entertainment before.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Indeed Swiss. Arguably Bonnie Prince Gunny's managerial career was one big number 2............but I'm being unkind. Between the posts "the Scot" was a goal-keeping legend.

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    Timbo

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Remember the game he got injured which ultimately was a major contributer to relegation that season. Think it was Forest away. Truly a legend but shoukd never have been allowed anywhere near the managers seat - blame the board for that - twice. Once for giving him the caretaker job until the end of the season and then repeating the mistake. Not heard much about his lad. Is he still at ManCity?

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    Barry Rasberry

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • I'm English myself but why does this fine website always refer to Scottish people eg: Gunny, Lambo, Whits etc as "the Scot"? I can only assume that there aren't many Scots find their way down to East Anglia, so they are considered a bit of a novelty + their nationality is always highlighted. Doesn't seem to happen so much in Manchester papers when talking about their club's players. Ah well- " Yon Villa mae take oor Lambo but thae'll never take oor freedom !!!"..

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    Timbo

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Gunny will always be a City legend, he stepped into the managers post at a bad time and things did not work out, but as a player and ambassodor for the club, he is second to none. I only met him twice in golf outings and he is a true gentlemen who always found time to talk to the fans

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    DaveG

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Hmm, strange lack of posters from Bellend Road on here this evening ...

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    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Unfortunately Gunny had a "draw" mentality to his football career which became more evident as a manager. Never should have taken the manager's job after building a good reputation as a player. The fact we focus on one good purchase (Holt) but not mention other buys (Aussie Goalkeeper) says it all. He had half a season to avoid relegation and failed big time.

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    A fine city

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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