Duffy turns to Dublin for dug-out role

Veteran Dion Dublin has been called in by Jim Duffy to lend a hand in the Canaries dug-out - but the City caretaker manager is staying tight-lipped over the prospect of the pair forming a managerial partnership at Carrow Road.

By CHRIS LAKEY

Veteran Dion Dublin has been called in by Jim Duffy to lend a hand in the Canaries dug-out - but the City caretaker manager is staying tight-lipped over the prospect of the pair forming a managerial partnership at Carrow Road.

Fans' favourite Dublin was alongside Duffy for Saturday's home defeat by Bristol City, prompting speculation that the 38-year-old had had a change of heart over a possible career in coaching.

Duffy is the only known applicant for the managerial vacancy at Norwich and while his first game in charge will have done little to support his application, the presence of Dublin alongside him could prove tempting for the City board of directors who have seen the former Manchester United striker become a firm favourite with the Canaries faithful.

Dublin - currently sidelined by a back injury - is seen as an experienced voice in a dressing room that is desperately in need of some direction, while his performances on the pitch were one of the few highlights of Peter Grant's year in charge.

Duffy refused to discuss the managerial situation yesterday, saying the possibility of him and Dublin linking up was “purely hypothetical” and that he was concentrating on tonight's match at Burnley.

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However, he admitted Dublin's presence had been beneficial.

“I wanted Dion in the dugout,” he said. “He has been a great help to me anyway and he is an influence in and around the dressing room. I think it was important that I asked him to be in the dugout.

“Sometimes it can be a little bit awkward for a player because you can never be quite sure that the other players look at you being on the coaching side of it as opposed to the players' side.

“But he was delighted to do that and I was delighted to have him there. It's just good to have someone of his influence in and around you. You can't fill your club with enough good people like that.”

Dublin is sidelined by injury, but Duffy was yesterday hoping the latest medical report would free him to fly up to the north-wets - and, more importantly, endure the five-hour overnight coach journey home.

“It might not be the best thing for him in terms of his rehab,” said Duffy. “It could actually set him back - if it meant his rehab was going to be accelerated by not travelling then he won't travel. He has been told to be prepared to travel but I would think it's more unlikely than likely at this time, simply because it's five hours on a bus coming back. I don't think that would be ideal for him.”

The Canaries, with just one point and one goal from their last six league games, are desperately in need of a solid hand on the tiller, but with interviews continuing this week there are no indications from the club that a managerial appointment will be made before the weekend trip to West Bromwich Albion.

Paul Sturrock says he is not on City's wish-list, saying he is committed to the League One outfit.

“I would imagine I am on a very long list,” he said. “It is nice to be thought of, but it is not an issue.

“I am a professional man and on a contract. I've got a plan and I want to do something with Swindon and that has not changed.

“But if Inter Milan come in for me, I will be off.”

The 51-year-old Scot, who was also linked with the Leicester job after Martin Allen was sacked, has seen one Swindon takeover, from Portuguese consortium BEST Holdings, collapse last week. Negotiations are being held with another investor, but with the club losing an estimated £100,000 a week, supporters are becoming restless.

Speculation has also linked Southend manager Steve Tilson with a move to Carrow Road, but the Shrimpers confirmed yesterday that no official approach has been received from Carrow Road.