Darren is not a diver - Shackell

PUBLISHED: 14:38 03 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:20 14 September 2010

Jason Shackell today rode to Darren Huckerby's defence - insisting that the flying Canary winger is no diver. Given the current national furore surrounding the antics of Chelsea star Didier Drogba and one or two of his Premiership colleagues, Huckerby's 74th-minute clash with struggling Leicester City full-back Richard Stearman provided a rare talking point from Saturday's 2-1 win over the Foxes.

City defender Jason Shackell today rode to Darren Huckerby's defence - insisting that the flying Canary winger is no diver.

Given the current national furore surrounding the antics of Chelsea star Didier Drogba and one or two of his Premiership colleagues, Huckerby's 74th-minute clash with struggling Leicester City full-back Richard Stearman provided a rare talking point from Saturday's 2-1 win over the Foxes.

Referee Andy D'Urso pointed to the spot as soon as Huckerby went tumbling, but Leicester players staged a furious protest. Three minutes and two bookings later - one for Huckerby himself -Leon McKenzie was finally able to squeeze his spot-kick beneath the diving Paul Henderson and secure Norwich's fifth straight home win.

“Hucks is not the kind of person to dive - no way whatever,” said the 22-year-old Canary centre-half after another solid outing alongside Gary Doherty.

“It's a penalty - 100 per cent definite,” added Shackell, as fed-up Foxes' striker Iain Hume begged to differ.

“We're very unhappy with the decision. There didn't seem to be any contact,” said Hume. Leicester's stand-in boss Rob Kelly was equally adamant that D'Urso cost his side at least a point after Gareth Williams' 63rd minute smash wiped out Robert Earnshaw's fine, first-half strike.

“Let's just say it was extremely harsh,” said Kelly, watching his words carefully as March's Championship Manager of the Month looks to secure the Foxes' job on a full-time basis. He did, at least, pay tribute to Huckerby - albeit in a slightly backhanded way.

“Darren Huckerby's a clever player. He runs at people, falls over in the box and it's a penalty. But we'll take it on the chin and move on to the next game.”

As for the man himself, Huckerby was in no doubt.

“It's not a controversy - it's a blatant penalty,” said Huckerby. “He made no attempt to get the ball. He just kicked me in the calf.

“The problem is I am in the box and going past him and it's a clumsy challenge. If I go past somebody and they foul me, it's a foul - that's life.”

It was also, according to Shackell, all City deserved after they ground out exactly the kind of result they should have done away at Burnley the other Friday night. Without those three points - and many more on their travels - Norwich's hopes of a top six finish could well end altogether at Deepdale this Saturday if Preston North End pick up their third straight win and leave themselves 14 points clear of the Canaries with just four games left.

“It's always nice to bounce back after a defeat with a good win,” said Shackell. “And today I thought we all stood up to be counted and deserved the win.”

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