Dion facing City decision
CHRIS LAKEY Dion Dublin has been offered a new one-year contract with Norwich City - but says he has to do “some serious thinking” before he agrees to stay at Carrow Road.
Dion Dublin has been offered a new one-year contract with Norwich City - but says he has to do “some serious thinking” before he agrees to stay at Carrow Road.
The good news for City fans is that the evergreen 38-year-old wants to play on - and wants to stay with Norwich.
The bad news is that the decision is not solely down to Dublin.
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“I will have to do some serious thinking about it,” said Dublin, who joined City as a free agent last September. “It is up to me what I do next year. The club have been good enough to offer me a contract, which is great. They are waiting for me to get back to them.
“I have to do the right thing for me and my family, so if it means I don't sign here it will be because of my family and myself, no other reason at all.
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“It is going to be a hard decision because I have not got one half bad thing to say about this club. They have been great on the pitch, the fans have been great, the chairman and staff have been great to me and the players have been unbelievable.
“So there is no reason for me not to sign here - but it is a long way away from my family, that's the biggest thing, and, as you all know, families are the most important thing.
“I want to continue playing. I feel okay - a few aches and pains as you'd expect. I will play for as long as I possibly can. If I feel right I will continue playing.”
A mark of Dublin's standing among the City faithful was his second place in the player of the season awards, announced before Saturday's home defeat by Southampton.
Typically, Dublin followed up with a man of the match performance in the heart of City's defence - a performance which could be his last at Carrow Road.
City boss Peter Grant, who “inherited” Dublin from previous manager Nigel Worthington, hopes it wasn't, but says he understood his dilemma.
“The future is up to him,” said Grant. “He has been offered a new contract. We want to keep him here, but it's up to Dion.
“He knows we want him to be here, but it is not a football decision for him this one. His family is still up in the Midlands and it is whether he wants to continue travelling all the time, and the most important thing in your life has got to be your family.”
Dublin's performance wasn't enough to prevent City sliding to defeat in their final home game of the season, with Leon Best's 30th-minute goal moving the Saints into the play-offs with one game remaining.
“It wasn't a great sign-off for us, it wasn't a great sign-off for the fans,” said Dublin. “But we didn't really deserve anything, to be honest. We didn't perform, we didn't start very well, and they got their goal, which they deserved.
“I thought parts of the game we came into it and played very well and passed it around a little bit, but it was too late, the damage had been done and again we were chasing the game, which seems to be our forte. We either go up and conceded one or concede one and can't get back in, so it is something we have to learn, to stop conceding silly goals.”