Alan Irvine is not to be messed with at Norwich City, warns Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe

Norwich interim manager Alan Irvine can count on support from ex-Everton team mate Kevin Ratcliffe.

Norwich interim manager Alan Irvine can count on support from ex-Everton team mate Kevin Ratcliffe. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alan Irvine will not stand for any nonsense from Norwich City's squad, insists ex-team mate and Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe.

Irvine remains in charge for this weekend's Championship trip to Aston Villa, after picking up four points from his initial two-game stint following Alex Neil's dismissal.

The experienced Scot forged his coaching reputation during two spells at Goodison Park but Toffees' great Ratcliffe dismisses the idea the measured Irvine is too nice for the Carrow Road hot seat.

'I think managers are good at putting on a front,' he said. 'There is something behind there that you have to have a little bit of a streak in you. We used to call him the flying Scotsman, the way he would run at defenders and he would have a bit of a nasty streak to him on the pitch. He was a speedy winger with a fiery temper. He won't like them calling him Alan, I bet he would rather they call him boss.

'I wouldn't have said back then he was one who would have gone into coaching or management.

'Everyone knows he is a good coach, you can tell that by the number of decent jobs he has had. High profile jobs at big clubs but it is a transformation to go from being a coach to a manager. He left Everton to go into management at West Brom. It didn't go that well there but he is a great organiser. From what I am led to believe he wanted to be out on the training pitch rather than in an office, which I think was happening more and more when he was heading up the Everton academy. That was one of the reasons he left. It will be interesting to see what Alan does.'

Irvine will not apply for the head coach role but could be poised for a longer term stint with City yet to appoint a sporting director to head up the search for Neil's replacement.

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'It happened to me when I was at Chester,' said Ratcliffe, who captained the Toffees to two league titles, the FA Cup and the Uefa Cup Winners' Cup during a dominant spell in the mid-1980s. 'I was doing the coaching, I know it's a lower scale, but you feel a loyalty to the guy who brought you in. The people who took over at Chester appointed managers who were not up to it. The manager was off work with toothache and you are asked to step in. Then you have to decide if you are comfortable with it. I was comfortable, results picked up and inevitably you get the job.'