Hucks baffled by lack of signings

PUBLISHED: 12:31 24 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:31 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

Darren Huckerby has added his voice to the growing sense of dismay at Norwich City's total lack of summer signings. One of Nigel Worthington's top targets slipped through the net at the weekend when Luton Town striker Steve Howard made a £1million switch to Coca-Cola Championship rivals Derby County.

Darren Huckerby today added his voice to the growing sense of dismay at Norwich City's total lack of summer signings.

One of manager Nigel Worthington's top targets slipped through the net at the weekend when Luton Town striker Steve Howard made a £1million switch to Coca-Cola Championship rivals Derby County.

More than 12 weeks after the end of last season - and just 12 days before the real business begins at Leeds - City's players seem as puzzled as the fans at their failure to add a single new face to the senior squad.

The 30-year-old Huckerby summed up their disappointment after Saturday's 1-1 draw in a friendly at Falkirk.

He said: “We thought there'd be a few additions. It doesn't seem that way at the minute so we're going to have to battle away with what we've got.

“It's difficult. We were all expecting a couple of signings while we were here (in Scotland), but nothing's materialised.”

Asked whether the players were demoralised by the lack of new arrivals, he said: “It's not so much the players, it demoralises the fans. I would have thought they would have been expecting a signing or two. I know the gaffer's desperate to get a few signings in but it doesn't seem to be playing that way the minute.

“We've still got a few parachute payments and this and that and you'd have thought that we'd have at least dabbled a little bit into the transfer market but at the minute it seems like it's not going to happen.”

Worthington could not hide his acute disappointment as news of 30-year-old Howard's move to the Midlands cast a shadow over the final day of the Canaries' trip to Scotland.

He admitted that City's own offer for Howard had fallen way short of the eventual price paid by new Rams boss Billy Davies for the former Hartlepool man, his first signing since arriving at Pride Park.

“I'm hugely disappointed with that because there was a lot of time and effort spent trying to make that one happen,” said Worthington.

“I lost target number one in Rob Hulse. We've now lost Howard. People say what's plan C? It depends how far down the leagues we go and exactly what quality we want to bring in, so we'll have a look, but one thing I will say is if it's not right to help us and take us forward, then I won't do it.”

Both City chairman Roger Munby and chief executive Neil Doncaster have publicly reassured supporters that new signings will be made, but while maintaining a diplomatic stance in public, Worthington clearly feels he lacks the financial muscle to get the players he really wants.

Asked whether City were close to matching the eventual price for Howard, he said: “The deal that finished up? No.”

But as to whether he feared he was running out of time to bring in new faces with the Championship season a fortnight away, he added: “I'm not worried at all. What I mean by that is that we're trying for players and we're not getting them through the finances. So if that's the case then I and the staff will work with the players that we've got, make sure we get the best out of them and do the best we can.”

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