Gunn rallies troops
NORWICH City manager Bryan Gunn has delved into the history books in a bid to kick-start City's season ahead of tonight's Carling Cup first round tie at Yeovil (7.
NORWICH City manager Bryan Gunn has delved into the history books in a bid to kick-start City's season ahead of tonight's Carling Cup first round tie at Yeovil (7.45pm).
Gunn conducted a full post mortem with his shell-shocked squad 24 hours after the club's 7-1 opening day League One humbling against Colchester.
An inquest that, no doubt, included Gunn's hazy recollections of his own part in an identical league drubbing against an Alan Shearer-inspired Blackburn at Ewood Park in October 1992.
Mike Walker's men re-emerged four days later to beat Carlisle in a second round League Cup tie - Chris Sutton on the mark with a brace to secure a 4-2 aggregate win.
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The omens were not lost on Gunn as he prepared to bounce back at Huish Park.
“I can't see into the future but I know how I reacted as a player,” he said.
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“We went out and won the next two games and that is what my players have to do now. There has to be a reaction and we have to focus on Yeovil because that is our first opportunity to put things right.
“We trained and recovered from the game on Sunday and we watched a DVD of the match. It was a long day and it wasn't the best of viewing but we reiterated what went on out on the pitch and I think it was important to do it.
“I've done it myself as a player - sat amongst my team-mates and actually seen where you have made your mistakes individually and as a team.
“Hopefully it was a helpful situation and the lads were then able to get back out on the training pitch and get it out of their system.”
Gunn admitted he was guilty of getting caught up in the close-season hype ahead of Colchester's visit after City's impressive unbeaten pre-season campaign.
“There was a lot of hype before the game which obviously I took part in too easily,” he said.
“With respect to our local media we probably had too much praise for all the work that was going on throughout the summer - so maybe I should take a little of the blame for that and dampen the enthusiasm.
“We certainly got knocked straight back down but have to pick ourselves up again. It's a big kick in the nuts, if you don't mind me saying that, for players, managers and coaching staff who had prepared the whole week and felt the build-up was right to get a result against Colchester.
“We'd made a lot of signings and maybe we read too much into the pre-season results, which were positive, but the thing all along had to be getting ready to go on August 8.”
Gunn again backed keeper Michael Theoklitos after his part in Colchester's first half goal rush but warned his new recruits they must learn to handle the pressure of performing in front of bumper home crowds.
“Michael is an Aussie and they are re-known for their fightbacks and their comebacks so we need to find that out from him,” said Gunn.
“We are just starting to find out a bit more about individuals but we have only been together for a short period so this will be a big week ahead of us when we find out a lot more about the type of people we have brought to the club. By that I mean their temperament, character and ability to play in front of 25,000.
“That was another thing to take into consideration and we need to find that out very quickly because by the time we have got back to Carrow Road on August 22 we hope to be in the next round of the cup and with some league points on the board.
“Whether it's a blessing being away for a few games we'll find out, but it gives us the chance to go away as a group and hopefully do some soul searching from players and as a unit because we need to get back on track.
“These five days in the West Country might be ideal for doing that.”