Speculation was today mounting that new City chief Glenn Roeder could snatch the services of the much-admired, young Newcastle United coach Lee Clark as all eyes now turned on who would be part of 'Team Glenn'.
Clark, of course, was not the only name to do the rounds. At West Ham United, he worked closely with ex-Town coach Paul Goddard who is still believed to live in the Essex area; while ex-Canary Kevin Bond – the man Roeder originally recruited as his No2 at Newcastle – is another obvious candidate.
He has, of course, been long involved in the England set-up; a younger Martin Hunter could easily lurk there.
Roeder revealed yesterday that he had already identified the two men that he wanted to join him in Norfolk – a No2 and a new coach.
He was also hopeful that at least one of the men in question might be in place come the derby clash with Ipswich Town.
And while he politely refused to name names as the Canaries embarked on their next recruitment drive, there were enough clues in what he said to suggest that 35-year-old Clark might be one that fits the bill.
The former Fulham skipper was target for his ex-Craven Cottage boss Chris Coleman in the summer when he switched to Real Sociedad. He also found himself mentioned with regard to the managerial vacancy at Carlisle United earlier this season only for ex-Cheltenham boss John Ward to get the full-time gig.
But with new Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce dragging his legendary back-room staff with him to Tyneside, so the feeling remains on the North-East that the popular Clark may find himself squeezed down the coaching pecking order – and if his long-held dream of one day managing his beloved Newcastle himself is to ever come to fruition, he is going to have to make his mark away from Tyneside and not been lost under Big Sam's shadow.
Traditionally, dealing with Newcastle has been fraught with peril. But times have now changed at St James since Freddy Shepherd's exit this summer. That said, 'Big Sam' could rate Clark himself; he might be reluctant to let his sparky little coach go.
?I'd like to think that one new member of staff will be here,? added Roeder, determined to hit the ground running come Sunday's visit from the neighbours. ?But I can't promise that.?
Both men, however, are reported to be eager to leap; for both the switch to Norwich would be viewed as a promotion from their current positions – hence Roeder's hope that their respective clubs will not unduly stand in their way.
?The two new members that ultimately I want are both working for clubs and, obviously, they'll need permission to leave the clubs they're at at the moment.
?I don't think it'll be a problem because the positions that both guys hold at the moment, this would be a promotion for them – in terms of an upgrade from the positions they hold at the moment. And I know – because I've worked with them – that they are two talented coaches. And hard-working.?
Clark revealed last season that Roeder had given him the freedom to coach at every level of the club as the two forged a close link.
“At the start of the season, Glenn said to me to look at the club as a whole and work with the first team, reserves and academy and take individual players and do some one-on-one work and also sometimes I'll work with players in a small group,? Clark told a junior BBC reporter in an interview last season. “So I'm coaching right across the board.”
Any in-coming manager was always odds-on to bring his own 'team' with him – Allardyce's numbered 24 by the time he finished at Bolton wit both his 'sports science director' Mark Taylor and his 'performance director' Mike Forde being two that he targetted early to take out of the Reebok.
Roeder, of course, was forced to reshuffle his own back-room team St James' in the wake of Kevin Bond's exit following the Panorama 'revelatoins' of a bung culture in football. Roeder's ex-England coaching pal Nigel Pearson arrived as his No2; he, thus far, has stayed at Allardyce's side.
Whether Roeder is intent on taking a second coach out of Newcastle United is unclear, but Clark would certainly appear to tick most of the boxes that the new City chief was hinting at yesterday.
Roeder has certainly plenty of empty car park spaces to fill – Jim Duffy's exit yesterday and the fact that the ill-fated Grant-Duffy combo never replaced Martin Hunter after his exit to Watford ensures that he has a completely clean slate to work with.
Other than 'club liason officer' Bryan Gunn, Roeder can start with his own men in place from the start; there will be no marriages of inconvenience that bedevilled the Foley-Worthington relationship and similarly the Hunter-Grant one.
?We'll try and get one in before Sunday; if I don't, coaching is part of the management that I really enjoy – working with the players on the training ground. So that's not a problem,? said Roeder, happy to play the waiting game in terms of 'Team Glenn' arriving.
?And even with a new assistant manager and a new coach, I will still be taking the majority of the training sessions anyway. Because I do enjoy that.
?And I think it's important that the players see that the manager can coach and does coach. And, of course, Bryan Gunn's here. He's a Norwich man.
?I'll speak to Bryan; seek his opinions on what he feels about the current players. But at the end of the day, I will make my own mind up about the team for Sunday.
?I'm a very good listener, but I'm very much my own man as well – it'll be the team that I want to pick.?