Don't count me out yet - Dublin

CHRIS LAKEY Dion Dublin has refused to rule himself out of the running in the Norwich City managerial race.Dublin is in the final year of an illustrious career and has always maintained that he would make a clean break from club football when he hung up his boots.

CHRIS LAKEY

Dion Dublin has refused to rule himself out of the running in the Norwich City managerial race.

Dublin is in the final year of an illustrious career and has always maintained that he would make a clean break from club football when he hung up his boots.

But the 38-year-old fans' favourite performed a U-turn yesterday when he said he would find it hard to turn down any offer to lead the club out of its current predicament in the Championship relegation zone.

“I feel as if I know what I can do to help the team, as a manager,” said Dublin. “It wouldn't be a choice to go into management after football, not completely, but, saying that, if something comes along that you can't turn down, and something as big as a job like Norwich City comes along, you have to think about it very carefully and think, 'well, hold it a minute, do you have what it takes to get this team to where it wants to go?' I feel I have that.”

Dublin's comments come on the day the club's top brass came under fire from fans at a public meeting in Diss, where they failed to shed any significant light on the managerial situation.

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Dublin said he was not at the stage where he was throwing his hat into the ring - but believes the temptation to fill the seat vacated by Peter Grant a fortnight ago might be too big to resist.

“If I was asked about doing the job I would have to think about it because a job like this might not come along in the whole of my career,” he said.

“It is not a direction I would take, but you only get one chance now and again and if something comes along that is special, ie Man United or Celtic, you have got to grab it.”

While Dublin lacks managerial experience his presence on the coaching side as part of a new management team would be an attractive proposition - and one he would not write off yesterday.

“I can't say not to something like that,” said Dublin, who was asked by caretaker boss Jim Duffy to join him on the bench for the game against Bristol City last weekend. “I may say no if I was asked, but at this present time I can't say no.”

And while Dublin, currently sidelined with a back injury, admitted to frustration at watching from such close quarters, it clearly had its rewards.

“You just want to get out there and help the boys and muck in really,” he said. “But if you can't do that the closest you are going to get is the bench and if I can shout on or pass on some information to a player I think I can help in a certain position I will do and the good thing about the players is they listen and take it on board and that is really nice to hear - when you tell them or suggest for them to do something and they do it and it makes them better or makes them look better, play better it's a nice feeling.”

Dublin has clear visions of the qualities he believes the new manager needs.

“I think anybody who gets the job has to have motivational skills with the position we are in, man management in the position we are in,” he said. “Knowing individual players' needs - some players need a good kick up the backside, some players need an arm round them. You have got to suss out who they are and deal with them accordingly, personally.

“I think ranting and raving is not going to work for us - saying that ranting and raving might have done us some good over the last few weeks.

“But knowing your players is going to be a massive thing. I think the players we have, the quality - I feel we have enough, it is just getting the best out of those individuals to make it a formidable team.

“I know people out there who haven't been managers but know the game like the back of their hand - they could possibly come in and do a job. There are managers out there that have done a job and could be good as well.

“Who's going to come in? I don't know, I have got no idea. I just know that whoever comes in is going to have a very, very hard battle on their hands to get us where we should be, which is up into the top half of the table. He will have the personnel to make us go that way, it is how he gets the quality out of that personnel.”

Top of the list for many is former Wigan boss Paul Jewell, and Dublin admits he would be a good choice.

“He knows his stuff,” said Dublin. “You wouldn't have to ask about anything or teach him anything - he knows everything that needs to be done as a manager so if it's the popular choice of the fans he's always going to be close.”