Hucks' plea for fans' backing
PUBLISHED: 08:28 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:13 14 September 2010
Darren Huckerby says Norwich City fans and players must form a united front. There was clearly an “atmosphere” around Carrow Road as City recorded their first win of 2006 with a 3-0 Valentine's Day win over Brighton, with no love lost between many fans and manager Nigel Worthington.
Canaries star Darren Huckerby says Norwich City fans and players must form a united front.
There was clearly an “atmosphere” around Carrow Road as City recorded their first win of 2006 with a 3-0 Valentine's Day win over Brighton, with no love lost between many fans and manager Nigel Worthington.
Huckerby was immune from criticism after a scintillating performance in which he scored one and set up another, but with another vital home game against Derby on Saturday, the flying winger says the fans have a big role to play.
“Obviously the fans have issues and that is for them to decide,” said Huckerby. “But we need them, we need the fans behind us.
“For the majority of my time here they have been. I'm not having a go at the fans, I never would do, but we had just won 3-0 and it was like we didn't win. We need everyone singing off the same sheet.”
One “Worthy out” banner had been unfurled before the game in the corner of the Norwich and Peterborough Stand, only to be packed at the insistence of stewards, while a small group of fans gathered outside the main entrance after the game to make their feelings known.
And during the game there were sporadic calls for the manager to go, particularly as City failed to capitalise on a one-man advantage against a team of limited quality.
Huckerby admitted the players have a battle on their hands to win back the dissenters.
“It was a bit of a surprise, really,” he said. “We were 1-0 up at home, the atmosphere was there but I don't know if there was something else involved in it. Obviously they're not too happy with the gaffer - we're 3-0 up and they're still want him out. So we have an uphill battle.
“We want to win games, we don't like losing games. We don't set out not to win games. I have always had a great rapport with the fans here and will continue to do until I finish playing here so I haven't got a bad word against them, but we were 3-0 up and it was like we weren't winning 3-0.”
Huckerby played a major part in the victory, with a cracking finish to give City a half-time lead.
“It fell nicely,” said Huckerby. “Thorney went up for the header and it just fell nicely for me. I got a couple of touches in and managed to put it in the goal. It was the start we needed but I thought we were a bit sloppy in the second half. But we deserved the game. Earnie got a good couple of goals.”
The first Earnshaw goal came after a brilliant long throw by keeper Robert Green. Huckerby travelled into the area and then unselfishly dinked the ball to Earnshaw on his right to slot home.
“I'm getting old now and it doesn't matter if I score or not, to be honest,” he said. “It was good to get Earnie off the mark. I knew what I was doing, I was just waiting for him to come inside of me. I have always said that I don't really mind if I score, as long as the team wins. It's nice the pressure is off Earnie now and he can go and do what he does best.
It sparked the trademark celebration every City fan had been waiting for, although Huckerby clearly found it all rather amusing.
“I asked Earnie if he did do his flip because I was too tired to run over to him,” laughed Huckerby. “It was getting late in the game and I'd made quite a few runs so I was just happy to get back over the halfway line and start the game again. Apparently he did two - hopefully next time I'll see it.”
Next up for Huckerby is a reunion with his old friend and former Canary Marc Edworthy on Saturday, although the City man isn't sure how close they'll get during the game.
“It will be great to see Eddy, he is a great friend of mine and we still speak quite a bit, but I don't know if he'll play left-back or right-back,” said Huckerby. “We'll see what happens. We have had a few tussles over the years so we will have a good hard battle and a chat after the game.”