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Pressure builds on Gunn ahead of must-win cup tie

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:27 06 July 2010

Paddy Davitt

Under-pressure Norwich boss Bryan Gunn faces the biggest selection dilemma of his fledgling managerial career in tonight's Carling Cup first round tie at Yeovil.

Under-pressure Norwich boss Bryan Gunn faces the biggest selection dilemma of his fledgling managerial career in tonight's Carling Cup first round tie at Yeovil.

City's humiliating club record 7-1 home rout against Colchester on Saturday has once again placed serious questions marks over the rookie manager and his unproven coaching team.

Skipper Gary Doherty labelled Gunn's new look side as 'the laughing stock of English football' after they wilted in the Carrow Road cauldron against their League One neighbours.

Norwich's frustrated fanbase vented their anger both on and off the pitch at the weekend - transforming tonight's testing trip to Huish Park into a make-or-break game.

Gunn has already reached a crossroads 90 minutes into the new campaign. Keep faith with the same misfiring players in the less pressurised surroundings of one of the remoter footballing outposts. Or perform radical surgery to his line-up in a tacit acceptance he got it badly wrong against the Us.

The choice is clear. Mess up again in such spectacular fashion and the clamour for change will grow even louder.

“That sort of result stays with you for the rest of your career because it's now part of the history books,” said Gunn. “I've been part of the biggest home defeat and the biggest away defeat as a player but we will now find out which of these guys has the character and very quickly.

“What we do and what was said remains private between me and the players but we've got a group of people hurting and hopefully the wounded animal will make a recovery.

“I think it was a freak result when you look at the scoreline and some of the goals that went in. You would have expected the academy players to have done better. It was basic defending which we try and teach all our defenders. The players are hurt and embarrassed - both individually and collectively - but we have a long journey to Yeovil and plenty of time for reflection.”

Gunn planned to use the solace of a seven hour cross country trip to decide whether to stick or twist.

“I haven't made any decisions yet on the team,” he said. “Yeovil is a good footballing side who play a good brand of football and will be confident after beating Tranmere at the weekend. They will see our result and probably feel it's an opportunity for them to progress.

“You want to win every game and, who knows, had there been a different result on Saturday there might have been a different team going on the pitch but we have to take one match at time. I hope whatever team I select goes out focused on the job in hand and that is winning football matches - it doesn't matter what competition we are in. We want to be in the next round but we have to overcome a confident Yeovil so it won't be easy.”


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