Croft sets the record straight
Chris Lakey Canaries winger Lee Croft says reports claiming he has snubbed a new deal at Carrow Road so that he can leave for free next summer are way off target. Croft's contract is up at the end of the season and talks have yet to open over a new one - but if City fail to tie him down to a new contract they face the prospect of losing one of their most valuable players for nothing in six months time.
Canaries winger Lee Croft says reports claiming he has snubbed a new deal at Carrow Road so that he can leave for free next summer are way off target.
Croft's contract is up at the end of the season and talks have yet to open over a new one - but if City fail to tie him down to a new contract they face the prospect of losing one of their most valuable players for nothing in six months time.
It has led to speculation linking Croft with moves to Premier League strugglers West Brom as well as Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United, Birmingham and Wolves.
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But the popular 23-year-old says his only concern is playing football and helping Norwich avoid the clutches of the relegation zone.
“I heard someone said I had snubbed a contract here, which is not true,” said Croft, who cost City £600,000 when he moved from Manchester City in the summer of 2006.
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“I haven't spoken to Norwich yet. I want to make that point because I haven't snubbed anything and it makes me sound bad when they say that.
“I haven't spoken to Norwich yet so nothing has been snubbed.
“I have got a really good relationship with the supporters and that's why I wanted to say that, I don't want them thinking that it's come out from me that I've snubbed the deal or whatever.
“I don't want people to think I'm being greedy and turning contacts down to go for nothing in the summer and things like that.
“As for speculation, that's just what it is.
“My contract's up at the end of this season, but I'm not really thinking about that. I'm just thinking about playing football and trying to help us win some games - that's the main thing; getting there on the pitch, hopefully playing well so we start winning games and push up the table.”
Croft insists the speculation won't affect his game -with two goals in his last three games lending weight to his claim.
“It won't affect my game at all,” he said. “It's been there for a few weeks now and the last few weeks I've really enjoyed my football and I've been enjoying playing. I don't think about it. I just go out there and enjoy my football.
“I feel really good at the moment. You know things are going alright when I score a header at Watford, that doesn't happen very often, headers. I'm enjoying my football, and it's not just me, all the lads are enjoying their football at the moment.”
Croft should be one of the first names on Glenn Roeder's team sheet for today's home game against a struggling Charlton side - and is ready to make them even more nervous than they looked during a 2-2 draw against Derby on Monday when victory was snatched from their grasp with just seconds remaining.
“I think they did look like a nervous team and we have got to take advantage of that,” he said. “I think it would have killed them conceding in the last minute as they did. There's nothing worse than that and hopefully they will come into the game still a bit down from that.
“We need to get on top of them straight away and I'm sure we'll be fine and get a result we badly need.”
Croft set the ball rolling in the 2-0 derby day win over Ipswich a fortnight ago, and followed up with an equaliser at Watford three days later. City dominated but were beaten 2-1, and then went down 2-0 at Reading last weekend after holding the high-flyers for 86 minutes and deserving at least a point.
“Starting from the Ipswich game through to Watford and to Reading I think we've played well,” said Croft. “We had chances to win games but didn't put them away at important times.
“But we are playing well, we are creating chances and I'm sure that come tomorrow we can turn those performances into a win.
“They're another big club, Charlton. Things aren't going well for them and we have to make sure we increase the distance between them and us and we don't give them an early Christmas present.
“We have to make sure we go out there and get three points for ourselves and put them to the sword.
“We just need to keep the form going and if we keep that consistency going then the results will come and hopefully we can continue that consistency and go on a run.”