As the odds continued to shorten tonight on Bryan Gunn making it at least two games in charge of his beloved Canaries, so the man who first brought him to Norfolk 22 years ago backed his boy.
“He understands the club, the area – he's Gunny, what more can I say?” said former City boss Ken Brown, as the goodwill and best wishes continued to flow on the back of Saturday's emotional 4-0 win over Barnsley.
It put the 45-year-old Canary goalkeeping legend firmly in the driving seat to succeed Glenn Roeder. And with City chief continuing to hold to their hope of being able to make an appointment within the next 48-72 hours, so Brown was more than happy to rubber-stamp his appointment.
He did, however, have one note of caution for the former City Sheriff; that for someone whose life was so interwoven into the very fabric of Norfolk, taking the Canary job could – eventually – come at a high price.
“That's my only fear for him,” said the 74-year-old Brown. “The fella's brilliant. For what he's already done, he deserves the OBE.
“But football can be a wicked game – it has its highs and it has its lows. And the only thing that's inevitable is that you're going to get the sack one day – one way or another.
“And that's a day I'd hate to see. Not after everything he's done and everything he's achieved. And it won't be like the last couple of managers either because neither of them have to live here. He loves it here. And if things don't go right on the football field, I wouldn't like to see people go against him.”
The Gunn family roots are, of course, embedded deep within the Norfolk soil; you sense they are never going to stray too far from the Francesca Gunn Laboratory – founded and funded on the back of that extraordinary, ?800,000 appeal following the tragic death of their elder daughter from leukemia.
Which is why, of course, Gunn passes that 'Yellow and Green' blood test with such poignancy; why his full-time appointment would be laden with so much emotion.
“I think Sir Alex Ferguson is about the only manager these days for whom the sack is not inevitable and, of course, Gunny comes from that stable,” said Brown, recalling his conversations with football's foremost knight in the autumn of 1986 when he first brought the young Aberdeen keeper down to Norfolk.
“It was Sir Alex who I was dealing with when we were buying Gunny and he was right on everything he said about him – he never let anybody down, so why shouldn't he be given the chance? I'd have no problem with it at all.”
One small problem might be his lack of coaching badges with Gunn currently being fast-tracked through his UEFA 'B' badge – the 'A' and the Pro still to go. But the suspicion remains tonight that one or two others might be earmarked for the more technical side of the job.
If they too bled yellow and green, then the Canaries could also use this opportunity to install an ordered succession into their future managerial thinking; a return to the days when in-house appointments were the norm. And from such a stable base came FA Cup semi-finalists and UEFA Cup heroes.
“It's a load of old codswallop about needing badges,” said Brown, who of course steered the Canaries to that 1985 Milk Cup triumph without a qualification to his name.
“I never had any badges – does that stop you managing?”
Gunn's UEFA Cup team-mate Ian Crook is one that does; as does Kenny Brown, currently coaching in Spain with CD Javea. As do a clutch of the Class of 93; skipper Ian Butterworth and sweeper Ian Culverhouse among them.
“They're both good lads and it is a different environment these days,” said K Brown Snr, now a welcome and regular face again in the Carrow Road directors box after being frozen out under the regime of Robert Chase.
“I'm always made most welcome there and I can't say a word against the current board – and I wouldn't say a word against them.
“And I want to see the club do well. It's such a big thing in Norwich and Norfolk; I know I'm not leaving here again and we all want to see the club doing well.”
The final decision, of course, rests with the board – on their heads be it if they get it wrong again. But if they do install a 'Team Gunn' over the next 48 hours – and one with more than its fair sprinkling of Canary heroes in the mix – they are giving themselves a chance; people will have more time for one of their own; more patience with a managerial and coaching set-up that they know have the club's best interests at heart.
“The board have got to make the right decision,” said Brown, as D-Day loomed ever nearer.
“And I'd love to see Bryan have a go at it – to see one of the boys that we introduced into the game here go on and be very, very successful as manager.
“I idolise the fella' – and can't have a bad word said against him.”
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