Crook's change of heart

Chris LakeyCanaries legend Ian Crook is prepared to make a sensational about-turn and return to English football after quitting as Norwich City coach last week. Crook is in line to move to League Two champions Notts County as assistant manager to Pierre Littbarski.Chris Lakey

Canaries legend Ian Crook is prepared to make a sensational about-turn and return to English football after quitting as Norwich City coach last week.

Crook is in line to move to League Two champions Notts County as assistant manager to Pierre Littbarski.

The EDP also understands that the former German international has pencilled in Paul Crichton, who left Carrow Road in February, as his goalkeeping coach, with former City skipper Craig Fleming, pictured, now at Lowestoft Town, in a coaching role.

Crook left Carrow Road by mutual consent less than a fortnight ago, although as the only remaining member of Bryan Gun's ill-fated "City Old Boys" management team, his departure was no real surprise.

Neil Featherby, of Sportlink, Littbarski's management company in England, confirmed last night that the German had been invited for an interview by County.

"He has - but I would stress that there are a couple of other big names in the mix as well, so let's not jump the gun," he said.

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"There are close links with Ian Crook - they worked together in Australia and Asia - and Paul Crichton and Craig Fleming could feature if Pierre was to get the job and decided that there was a facility to bring his own people in."

Crook was appointed coach at City - where he made more than 400 appearances between 1986 and 1997 - in January last year, but his family remained in Australia, where he had spent much of his coaching career. The reason given for his departure was because he wanted to spend more time with them.

However, Littbarski's desire to move into management in England could mean a reunion with the man he appointed his number two five years ago when he was manager of Australian side Sydney FC.

The pair won the A-League title, and although Littbarski moved on, they were reunited in Japan in January 2007 at Avispa Fukuoka.

The 50-year-old Littbarski, a World Cup winner with Germany 20 years ago, managed in Iran after leaving Japan and in April lost his job as boss and head coach of FC Vaduz, who are based in Liechtenstein but compete in Switzerland.

Crichton, who returned to City as goalkeeping coach under Gunn having been on the playing staff between 2001 and 2004, is currently at Northampton Town, while Fleming has been heavily involved in Lowestoft's successive championship successes which have taken them into the Ryman Premier Division.

County are without a manager following Steve Cotterill's decision to quit last week, having steered the club to the top of League Two. He was the third manager to leave County in eight months and looks set to move to Portsmouth, having turned down an approach from Coventry City.

Others in the frame to take over include Craig Short, Paul Ince, Alan Knill and Brendan Rodgers, with former City managers Peter Grant and Glenn Roeder also in the bookies' odds at 16-1 shots.