Worthington misses target again

PUBLISHED: 09:26 04 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

Nigel Worthington has suffered another setback in his search for a new target man at Carrow Road. Having failed to land Rob Hulse from Leeds and then Steve Howard from Luton this summer - both because of prohibitive price tags - Worthington had his eyes on Geoff Horsfield, the man who broke Norwich hearts in the play-off final four years ago.

Nigel Worthington has suffered another setback in his search for a new target man at Carrow Road.

Having failed to land Rob Hulse from Leeds and then Steve Howard from Luton this summer - both because of prohibitive price tags - Worthington had his eyes on Geoff Horsfield, the man who broke Norwich hearts in the play-off final four years ago.

But while Worthington was admitting his interest to the media yesterday morning, Horsfield was tying up the loose ends on a loan deal at Leeds - and could end up making his debut AGAINST City tomorrow.

Horsfield agreed a loan move to Elland Road until Christmas and goes straight into tomorrow's squad.

Manager Kevin Blackwell said: “We are going to take him on loan until Christmas to see how Geoff performs. If things go well we have got the option to complete something with Sheffield United.

“He is raring to go and it will be nice to see him in a white shirt. All being well he should be making his debut on Saturday.”

It's another knockback for Worthington, who was also looking at a loan deal because City didn't have the means or the desire to pay the £1m transfer fee that Sheffield United would have been asking for the player.

Horsfield has a place in Norwich City's history books, having scored Birmingham's equaliser after Iwan Roberts had put City ahead in extra-time of the play-off final against Birmingham at the Millennium Stadium in 2002. The Blues went on to win a penalty shoot-out, condemning City to another two seasons in the First Division and handing the Blues the biggest prize in football.

Horsfield left St Andrews for Wigan and later West Brom before moving to Sheffield United last season, although it hasn't exactly been a marriage made in heaven - with, ironically, Warnock's successful chase for Hulse pushing him out of the picture.

“I just want to be playing football regularly,” Horsfield said. “I haven't been given that chance with Sheffield United. It's nice to still be wanted.

“Leeds is a massive club with great facilities and are gearing up for the Premiership and my aim is to help them reach that goal. The last eight months have been a nightmare. I've been stuck in the reserves and last week I was thrown in with the kids. Neil Warnock must not rate me as a player and I don't know why.”

The chances that Worthington will sign any new players today for the Leeds trip are now remote.

“Things are ongoing as far as phone calls and conversations but nothing more than that,” he said, reiterating his preference for a striker and a left-back to provide cover and competition for Adam Drury, be it permanent or on loan.

“Whatever suits,” he said. “Calls are in and basically sometimes when you do that you are in other people's hands.”

That goes for Arsenal, with Worthington having spoken to former Northern Ireland team-mate and Gunners assistant Pat Rice about the possibility to taking one of the London club's youngsters for a season, much as they did when David Bentley was in Norfolk for the Premiership campaign.

“We are still in contact with Pat regards the situation there and I am one inquiry out of many, so the manager at that end will decide if and when and where the player may go,” said Worthington.

And the final word on ex-Canary Chris Sutton and Ipswich Town?

“Nothing to do with me,” said Worthington. “I am only concentrating and focussing on players joining Norwich City. What other players do at other clubs is entirely other people's business.”

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