Dion’s a massive influence – Shacks
Norwich City defender Jason Shackell is desperate for veteran Dion Dublin to stay with the Canaries for at least one more season. The 38-year-old is yet to decide whether he will be carrying on next season at Carrow Road but Shackell believes the former England international still has a lot to offer the club both on and off the pitch.
Norwich City defender Jason Shackell is desperate for veteran Dion Dublin to stay with the Canaries for at least one more season.
The 38-year-old is yet to decide whether he will be carrying on next season at Carrow Road but Shackell believes the former England international still has a lot to offer the club both on and off the pitch.
“All the lads are really hoping he decides to carry on,” said Shackell. “He's been a massive influence on us and on me in particular. When I play at the back alongside him he's constantly talking to you and I've learnt a lot from him this season.
“The talking on the pitch is always a great help especially with some of the young lads.”
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Dublin is one of the frontrunners for the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy, which will be presented before Saturday's match against Southampton.
But it is the veteran's presence off the pitch that has impressed Shackell most.
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“He's a real positive person and a good person to have around the place. But it's not just his influence on the pitch - he's been there and done it at such a high level and I think he can help anyone to be honest no matter how old they are.
“We don't want to lose that and the lads are all obviously hoping that he decides to stay.”
Shackell also admitted that his team mates had also been buoyed by the news that Adam Drury is likely to sign a new contract in the near future.
“That would be a big boost for us if Adam stays. He's one of the best left backs, as a lot of people have said, outside the Premiership. He's consistent and it would be a massive boost for us if he does stay.”
Shackell has found himself taking on the role of an elder statesman in recent weeks with the likes of Kris Renton and Bally Smart breaking into the first team squad.
And the 23-year-old admitted that it had been a strange feeling being the one giving out the instructions to the youngsters.
“It's certainly been a bit weird the last couple of games,” he said. “I've been one of the more experienced ones. That's been a bit strange but they've all done really well since they've come into the team.
“It does them good to get a bit of experience before the end of the season and then hopefully they will be able to hit the ground running next season.”
Shackell admitted the Canaries have not been consistent enough this season and knows that manager Peter Grant will be scouring the leagues to bring in some fresh talent for next season.
“I'm sure there are going to be changes and the gaffer will be looking to bring people in. There might be a few changes and the gaffer will take care of whatever needs to be done off the field.”
City have two matches before the end of the season against Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday and Shackell is looking forward to getting away over the summer break.
“I'm going to try and get abroad a couple of times. But it's all about keeping yourself fit and ticking over so we'll be raring to go next year.”