City face huge task – Hucks
Matthew Chambers Darren Huckerby believes Norwich City manager Glenn Roeder faces a “massive” challenge this season to deliver success at Carrow Road. Huckerby, who has joined Major League Soccer team San Jose Earthquakes, remains an avid supporter of the club he served for five seasons and has already picked up his season ticket, but predicts a tough ride for the Canary faithful.
Darren Huckerby believes Norwich City manager Glenn Roeder faces a “massive” challenge this season to deliver success at Carrow Road.
Huckerby, who has joined Major League Soccer team San Jose Earthquakes, remains an avid supporter of the club he served for five seasons and has already picked up his season ticket, but predicts a tough ride for the Canary faithful.
He said: “In truth, I think they've got a massive job on. The club has lost myself, you've lost Dion who is going to be very, very hard to replace not just with the playing but around the place and they have a very, very small squad. So it's going to be very difficult.
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“But it's also going to be different and also a new challenge for the club, I'd say it's starting afresh basically. There's only really Adam [Drury] and Shack [Jason Shackell], who was at the club when we won the league. It's a massive challenge but it's a good one and I will be looking forward to see how they do.”
City boss Glenn Roeder has brought in Irish international Wes Hoolahan from Blackpool as a replacement for Huckerby and Sammy Clingan in midfield from Nottingham Forest, but the squad still looks very thin.
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Huckerby, who flew out to join up with his new Quakes team-mates at the weekend, added: “I think it's going to be tough, very tough. But all you need is a good run and get the confidence up and anything can happen. I rate Hoolahan, he's a very good player, totally different to my style, and it will be interesting to see if he can perform at high level week in week out.
“The gaffer is very strong-willed and he'll do what he wants to do. He wants to be successful so he has done the things that he thinks are right.”
Norwich fans were furious with the decision not to offer the former City talisman a new contract - a decision that was only taken after the season had ended, therefore, denying Huckerby the chance to say a proper goodbye.
But Huckerby was quick to deny there had been any major falling out with Roeder that might have led to his shock departure.
“I wouldn't say we fell out but you can have disagreements. But we never had any real problems. Obviously I had an issue with my hip that he didn't know about and after I got that sorted I played in the last 10 games. We never really had a problem. At the end of the day he just wants to go in a different direction with his players and I can understand that. I've got no problems with that at all. We even spoke about me going to America. We have chatted about it. The manager can do basically what he wants so it's not a big issue.”
He added: “The decision was nothing to do with me. I'd say I'm very happy in what I achieved at Norwich. We had our ups and downs but players come and go. I know when I look back there were times when I could quite easily have left. Like everybody else. But it's very important if you have a contract you have to honour it, either way. In all that Norwich have done nothing wrong because I was out of contract. We both agreed that this would be a contract until I got to the end of it. That happens in football.”
Nine players, including Huckerby, and several key members of the backroom staff were also give their marching orders by Roeder, and it remains to be seen if these changes have been beneficial.
Huckerby added: “It's difficult because it's a lot of changes all at the same time. So hopefully it will all work out. I want the team to do well even after what happened. I've got my season tickets for next season and as soon as I'm back I'll be watching. I do actually care what's happening to the club. As soon as I'm back in November I'll be in the middle of the Jarrold Stand with my two kids. I've already ordered my shirts for next season.”