Alan Irvine is open to a new challenge if Norwich City cut him adrift
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alan Irvine has the management bug back as he prepares to sign off his short term Norwich City stint.
The experienced Scot will take charge of his 10th and final game on Sunday against QPR after replacing Alex Neil over the Championship run in.
Irvine is not in contention for the head coach vacancy at Carrow Road, but the former West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday chief is not ruling out a return to the hot seat elsewhere.
The 58-year-old is still waiting to find out if he has any part to play in the Canaries' long term future.
'It has given me a taste of management again, if I am honest, but I have made it clear I have never applied for a job in my life,' he said. 'I won't start at my great age. If the phone rings this summer, and Norwich don't want me here, I have a decision to make. If not, I'll play golf and tennis.
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'Overall I have enjoyed it. I didn't want it. I said week after week I didn't want it. That is not why I came here for this opportunity. I said when I took it on I would do it to the best of my ability, but I have enjoyed being the one making the decisions, I have enjoyed preparing the team. I am somebody at the stage of my career where job satisfaction is important and I have thoroughly enjoyed that and got a lot out of these last few months.'
Captain Russell Martin made it clear this week he felt City would have finished in the top six if the managerial change had been made earlier.
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'It is difficult to say. I couldn't possibly say it would have been a different situation,' said Irvine. 'I can only talk about the 10 games so can't say we would have picked up more points in the five, six or 10 games prior to that. From Blackburn through to Leeds I feel the team has got better. That is the period I want to judge them.
'I had never been a caretaker manager before so that was new. It is easier because you are not the one dealing with contracts but the other aspect is you don't have that power or the ability to plan long term. Coaching is important but definitely the man-management is becoming more difficult and more important. Some will say treat everyone the same but we are all different. We have different ways of responding to different styles. Some need an arm around them, some need a kick up the backside. You have to earn how to help the different personalities.'