Doc holding out

Chris Lakey Gary Doherty has been warned that he won't find the grass greener on the other side of the Atlantic as he stalls over the offer of a new contract at Carrow Road.

Chris Lakey

Gary Doherty has been warned that he won't find the grass greener on the other side of the Atlantic as he stalls over the offer of a new contract at Carrow Road.

The Canaries defender, whose contract expires at the end of this month, has yet to commit his future to the club, with reports linking him with a move to the MLS in America.

Glenn Roeder insists the impasse doesn't concern him, but it was clear from his comments yesterday that there has been no contact between player and club since the end of the season - leaving the City manager to wait and see whether Doherty will show up for pre-season training on July 1.

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Should Doherty not surface, then Roeder will be in the market to make up a big shortfall in defence, especially after admitting yesterday that his interest in Birmingham's Martin Taylor - who enjoyed a successful loan spell last season - had waned.

However, Roeder says he is nowhere near pressing the panic button.

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“Obviously we want him to sign and we have made him a very good offer and he has gone away to think about it,” he said. “Sometimes things take a little bit longer for some people for things to sink in than it does for others.

“There is no panic. Everyone else seems to be running around like headless chickens. Let's stay nice and calm. We are not moving from the training ground so I assume when Doc comes back he will know where we are and then we'll see him and we'll talk.

“The contract is there for him to sign. If he wants to sign it, fantastic. If he doesn't that's life.

“If he can find somewhere better than Norwich City good luck to him - I don't think he will.”

Doherty has reportedly held talks with San Jose Earthquakes about a move to America, but Roeder admitted there had been no contact with the player.

He said: “Anyone seen him? As long as he is alive he is somewhere on this planet. I couldn't tell you where at the moment. Wherever he is I don't think there is any mobile connection.

“But Doc's not going to come back here and train on July 1 if he is not going to be signing a new contract. He will be off to a new club by then won't he, because that's when clubs start training.

“He is entitled to his holiday like all the other players. There is no football to be played at the moment and we will see him when he comes back, if not before.

“That will come to a conclusion in the next couple of weeks.”

Doherty is one of only two central defenders currently on the books and, despite sometimes being on the end of stick from supporters, is a favourite of Roeder's.

“He did very well for us last year,” he said. “I have to say for long periods he was probably our most consistent player in terms of performance. He was knocking out one after the other where you felt safe with him - he is a very safe defender.”

Roeder was widely tipped to make another attempt to prise Taylor away from Birmingham this summer, having failed with a move in the January transfer market.

But Birmingham have indicated they want to keep Taylor - and that means Roeder won't pursue the matter.

“Birmingham have been relegated and he proved in their promotion year back to the Premiership that he is a major player in this division and they want to keep him,” said Roeder. “But again I'm not too worried - I have got other targets in that position that I am working on and I am confident we will have breakthroughs in that position over the next few weeks.”

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