Duffy thrilled with City coaching job

CHRIS LAKEY Duffy, 47, was invited to Carrow Road last week and said it didn't take too much work on Peter Grant's behalf to convince him of his next career move.


New City assistant manager Jim Duffy isn't one to let the grass grow under his feet.

The Scot has worked under some of the most high-profile and controversial footballing money men in Britain - Ken Bates at Chelsea, Milan Mandaric at Portsmouth and the Romanov family at Hearts.

It was the Romanovs who dispensed with his services as director of football - as well as manager Graham Rix - last March, deciding they were better qualified to pick the team.

That was almost a year ago, but Duffy didn't sit and stew. Instead, he set about adding to his coaching scrapbook, travelling around England and Europe to fill in the gaps in his CV.

“I went to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid,” he said. “I took in the La Manga tournament last year with the Scandinavian clubs - Rosenberg and Stavangar - and a couple of Russian clubs, including Lokomotiv Moscow.

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“You just look and see what you pick up - a lot of the coaching sessions are very similar, but they're played in a different style, a different tempo and players have a different attitude.

“The Scandinavians were competitive and didn't complain too much when someone tackled them whereas with the Spanish it is more technical and there isn't the same contact. You just look at the different styles and pick up different pieces of information that you might use on the training pitch.

“It is a labour of love, I love it. If for example you get a player who has been in Portugal or Spain, they come here and maybe think they have more time on the ball, or off the pitch they are handled differently. A lot of people in the British game are used to a kick up the backside - that might not be the case in Europe, so it is just asking within football, talking to people and trying to get an insight into what makes these people tick.”

Duffy, 47, was invited to Carrow Road last week and said it didn't take too much work on Peter Grant's behalf to convince him of his next career move.

“It's very exciting and I am thrilled to be invited to join the football club,” he said. “It wasn't a difficult decision at all. Over the last few months I have had a couple of opportunities to go back into football. I didn't think they were the right ones for a variety of reasons, but this felt right the minute I was asked.”

Duffy knew Grant from their days playing in Scotland, but has met coach Martin Hunter at coaching courses - and once signed new boy Mark Fotheringham for Dundee.

“I signed Mark from Celtic - he is a very talented player with a great natural ability and good confidence,” said Duffy.

“He went away to educate himself on the footballing side, the nutritional side and fitness side and I think he has grown up. Speaking to him now he's more mature, but we have to give him time because he has come to a big club with huge expectations.”

Duffy will take his place in the City dugout for the first time at home to Blackpool on Tuesday night, although he saw them in action in the games against Wolves and Leeds - with one notable exception.

“I think they have a very talented group of players with a great work ethic,” he said. “They are missing Robert Earnshaw, no doubt about that. His penalty box instincts are a real bonus and not only does that weaken your side but also gives the opposition confidence.

“I know Peter won't make excuses of not having Earnie available but he would be playing a major role and if they can add those penalty box instincts to the quality on the rest of the pitch I am sure they can move forward.”

While Duffy is Grant's number two, he will work alongside first team coach Martin Hunter - with both of them taking charge of some home reserve games and Academy boss continuing to look after away games.

“Martin is a massive part of trying to push this club forward,” said Grant. “The three of us will do the coaching for the first team.

“I don't think there is a dividing line, the biggest thing is we are all coaches. It will be Jim one day Martin the next day who will speak to the players - and the other one will be in among the players. I don't want the boys listening to three people talking.

“I have already sat down with Martin and he has a massive part to play in it and I am very fortunate to have a guy with that knowledge. Both will have a big say on what we are trying to do next.”