Former Norwich City midfielder and coach Ian Crook has welcomed the likely appointment of his former team-mate, Chris Hughton, as the new manager at Carrow Road.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The two men were at Tottenham together as players in the 1980s and Crook hailed the “smart footballer” who struck out on his own in management after years on the coaching staff at White Hart Lane. The 53-year-old Hughton has been in talks with the Canaries after Birmingham “reluctantly” gave them permission to speak to him.

Speaking from Australia, where he is head coach of Sydney FC, Crook said: “If it’s the case that it is to be Chris as manager, then brilliant. He was a lovely guy, and still is. He’s not changed. He was good with us younger players at Spurs – he was a little bit older than me – and I just couldn’t say anything but good about him. I don’t know anybody who didn’t get on with Chris and he was popular with all the boys.”

Full-back Hughton was a regular in the Tottenham side, a double FA Cup winner and UEFA Cup winner, when Crook was coming through the ranks in a team filled with star names.

“He was a smart footballer and in the time he came through it was a team with some great players like Steve Perryman, Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles and he will have learned a great deal from them,” said Crook. “They all went on to management and a lot of that team went on into coaching roles. Chris was always one who looked like he would go ahead and do the same.”

Crook believes Hughton’s background as player and track record as manager make him a good fit for Norwich.

“It helps that Norwich have a tradition of trying to play the right way and being at Spurs that will be his way as well,” he said. “I think he did an excellent job at Newcastle and was unlucky to lose the job when he did. Losing in the play-offs with Birmingham was a disappointment for him but he did a good job there, too. It looks like very interesting times for Norwich.”

However, Crook, 49, admitted he was surprised by Paul Lambert’s exit from Carrow Road. Crook, who worked under Lambert for a season as reserve team boss, said he thought the Scot would have stayed longer.

“I think we always knew in time he would move on but I suppose the only surprise to me was probably the timing,” he said. “After having had such a good year at Norwich in the Premier League I thought he would probably try to build on that. They did so well I thought he might have stayed around for another year or so. Aston Villa didn’t have the greatest of seasons and it will certainly be a challenge for him.”

Crook, who returned to Australia in June 2010, signed a two-year deal with Sydney FC last month after spending two years as their National Youth League coach and A-League assistant coach, and working as head coach at New South Wales Institute of Sport.

Latest Norwich City stories

5 comments

  • I had hoped he might stay and build on the success of city's first season in the Premiership. Maybe he thought that this move needed to happen to fulfill his ultimate ambition to succeed Fergie.

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Right Brew, us and us alone !! Haha....

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • DC, you say potato, I say potato. What`s the Haha about? Ditch that wall of silence.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Crooky just cementing the thoughts of many that we knew he would go at some point and always thought it would of been a bigger carrot than Villa. I'm extremely grateful for the achievements under PL and he probably feels he owes us nothing in terms of what he has done...but that is a two way street as we served him every bit as much in terms of moving his career onwards and upwards (not so much with Villa ;-) ). We were only a vehicle to move up the tree as will Villa be at some point...what does rankle is if he comes back and we let him start poaching players...the Holt situation seems all too cosy and contrived given the timing.

    Report this comment

    twotonecanary

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Like Crook I expected (hoped?) PL would stay one or two more seasons. Maybe he just gets bored easily? Certainly had a fairly terse manner and aggressive stance when faced with pertinent questioning. It was we "keyboard warriors" that fomented all the "nonsense" about him leaving, wasn`t it?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT