Boothroyd: I wanted Norwich job

Chris LakeyAidy Boothroyd could have been plotting Norwich City's future - rather than their downfall - this weekend after admitting yesterday that he wanted to return to Carrow Road as manager a year ago.Chris Lakey

Aidy Boothroyd could have been plotting Norwich City's future - rather than their downfall - this weekend after admitting yesterday that he wanted to return to Carrow Road as manager a year ago.

The Colchester boss, an Academy coach at Norwich under Nigel Worthington, was one of the favourites to take over when Glenn Roeder was axed.

But a deal foundered because he wanted more than a short-term agreement.

'I did go and meet the Norwich board,' said Boothroyd. 'I did have a chat with them and they were looking for somebody to the end of the season, and that's not me. I want to build something and that didn't really fit with me.'

City, instead, went for Bryan Gunn who, having failed to keep the club in the Championship, was sacked just days after the opening game of this season when his team slumped to an humiliating 7-1 home defeat to Colchester - just another twist in the story leading up to tomorrow's clash between the two teams.

While Boothroyd, 38, was laying on a beach in California, the future of both clubs was changed forever by that result. Gunn's departure led to the controversial appointment of Paul Lambert from Colchester - and Boothroyd stepped into the vacancy in Essex.

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The fall-out has soured relations between the two clubs at board level, with City facing a Football League Disciplinary Commission, and helped make tomorrow's game the hottest ticket in town.

'Norwich is a different club now, it is a different board,' he said. 'I know Delia is still involved, but it's a different manager and a different set of people that are working there.

'It's a different place from when I was there under Nigel. I have only got fond memories of Norwich, nothing but good things to say about it as a club, but life moves on and if I had got every job I was favourite for when I was out of work I'd have had five or six jobs now, but that wasn't the case and that is just indicative of what football is like.

'Every board knows what sort of manager they want and Norwich decided to go down the path of Bryan - and fine.'

Amidst all the controversy, Boothroyd insisted a thought should be spared for Gunn.

'I do think somebody like Bryan Gunn has had a real difficult time, to be honest, because you couldn't wish to meet a nicer guy,' he said. 'As a manager, when you are on the end of a seven it is a very, very lonely place and when you get that you look for support. I can remember there have been times when you are having a bad run and you look behind you and you think, who's with me? And it can be lonely.

'I did feel for him and I was sad when he went, but it is something we all expect and I am sure the Norwich people and the Norwich fans and football in general has a high regard for him because he is a terrific guy and I hope to see him back soon, in some capacity somewhere.'

Boothroyd has taken Colchester to fourth in the table, six points behind second-placed City with two games in hand, on the back of just two league defeats in 18 games.

'I do have to say I couldn't be happier here,' he said. 'The reason that I came to Colchester is because it is progressive, it is not stuck in the past. It hasn't got much of a past, with the greatest of respect, the best we have ever done is 10th in the Championship which is phenomenal with the club as it was then.

'The chairman is progressive, the club is progressive, we have outcomes we want to reach, we want to be a sustainable Championship club and I think that's easily doable.

'I want to do slightly better than that, but I really enjoy it here. The team is winning and we are building something I think we can talk about in years to come.'