Grant defends Hucks over outburst

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 July 2007 | UPDATED: 10:24 14 September 2010

Canaries boss Peter Grant has defended Darren Huckerby for his outburst over the Dickson Etuhu affair. A clearly frustrated Huckerby, who has also seen leading scorer Robert Earnshaw leave for Derby this summer, launched a thinly veiled attack on the club earlier this week, saying he was tired of seeing City sell their best players.

By CHRIS LAKEY

Canaries boss Peter Grant has defended Darren Huckerby for his outburst over the Dickson Etuhu affair.

A clearly frustrated Huckerby, who has also seen leading scorer Robert Earnshaw leave for Derby this summer, launched a thinly veiled attack on the club earlier this week, saying he was tired of seeing City sell their best players.

The 31-year-old's comments sparked strong reactions among supporters and, although chief executive Neil Doncaster suggested the player should do his talking on the pitch, found some sympathy with his manager.

“I think Darren's frustration has come from the fact he think he's doing it for the better of everybody,” he said.

“He wants to be playing in the Premier League and that's where we all want to be.

“I understand Darren's frustration. He wants to play with the best players, I want to be coaching the best players.”

The last thing Grant could do with is seeing his star player unsettled - his pressing issue now is to find a replacement for Etuhu, a player he was hoping would be one of the cornerstones of his team this season.

“Even if Dickson Etuhu was here I'd still be looking to bring two or three people in,” he said. “We're going to be looking to replace in an area of the pitch where I didn't want to be doing it. Trying to get the same quality, that's the problem.”

Grant said his work in the transfer market hadn't been helped by the action of some player agents - the people who the City boss blames for instigating the departures of Earnshaw and Etuhu in the first place.

“You never know when people come in and ask for players,” he added. “The biggest thing is you don't know what's going on behind your back in football.

“People have questioned the Safri situation. I've had one agent telling me Saf's staying here. Then another agent says he doesn't represent him, so who does represent him?

“That's a question you're going to be asking about Saf. Nobody knows. People who are not even representing players now are trying to sell them to other clubs and then tell the player, so they can make money from it.

“That's what we're dealing with in the modern day game, unfortunately. It's easy to upset a player because you fill his head with nonsense. You tell him you can get him x, y, or z amount of money elsewhere and obviously his focus goes somewhere else and as soon as people are not focused on playing here, they won't be here.”

Grant said he would not keep players who were not committed to the club.

He said: “I don't fear losing players because the bottom line is, the players make the decision. They'll tell you 'I don't want to be here, gaffer' and anybody that tells me that for the first time will not be here, I'll guarantee it.”

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