Fozzy and Doc to get new deals

Two of Norwich City's key performers this season look set to be offered new deals before their contracts run out in the summer, as Glenn Roeder begins to look beyond this season.

Two of Norwich City's key performers this season look set to be offered new deals before their contracts run out in the summer, as Glenn Roeder begins to look beyond this season.

Republic of Ireland international defender Gary Doherty and Canary captain Mark Fotheringham have both been instrumental in City's revival, which has seen them climb from six points adrift at the bottom of the Coca-Cola Championship to an outside bet for the play-offs.

Although both players' current contracts are set to expire at the end of the current season, the City boss admitted he is hopeful the duo will be extending their stays at Carrow Road.

“I'd like to think Doc will want to stay and sign a new contract, and I think Fotheringham will sign a new contract as well,” said Roeder. “Both players tell me they want to, so it's just a question of sitting down and getting a new contract to be agreed with both of them.”

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Roeder confessed he still has a major rebuilding job on his hands, whether the Canaries are playing Premier League or Championship football next season and there have already been a large number of changes in playing staff during his first three-and-a-half months.

Six players have been shipped out permanently with two more - Ryan Jarvis and Simon Lappin - likely to be out of the Canary door once their current loan spells, at Notts County and Motherwell respectively, have ended.

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As for incoming players, seven of City's current first team squad are currently borrowed from Premier League clubs since the January transfer window slammed shut, and all are expected to be back at their parent clubs for next season.

South African midfielder Matty Pattison remains Roeder's only permanent signing at Norwich and, with question marks over the future of several City regulars, the summer will be a busy one regardless of whether the Canaries' unlikely play-off push is successful.

“If you strip away the loans and see what I'm using, there's not a lot,” said Roeder. “Come the summer, Dion is retiring. It looks pretty certain that, before I've had a chance to make my mind up, Huckerby's made his own mind up that he's leaving and we're looking at nine players down. So there's a real rebuilding job to be done here, which we always knew.

“We knew what our first goal was this year and there's still a lot of work to be done, a lot of points to be gained. But then after that we have to face the reality that potentially there's going to be nine players at least.”

City's loan contingent has been reduced by one, after luckless defender Matthew Bates returned to Middlesbrough for treatment following another serious knee injury sustained against Hull City on Tuesday.

Bates has already had three operations for repair knee ligament damage during his career and ended a loan spell at Ipswich last season only two games in, after he suffered the same injury.

Roeder said: “We're all upset for him because he made such a good impression on us as a person, first and foremost, and obviously we knew he was a good player before we took him. I think he proved that straight away with his first game when he came on.

“But he's lucky he's got the character that he's got because he will battle back to full fitness.

“He's the sort of player that we probably couldn't have afforded but the sort of player that I would've liked to have signed. If we're going to do the job properly here, we need seven or eight Matthew Bates at the club, obviously in different positions, but those characters. And that is, as I've always said, the toughest part of my job - recruitment.”

There was some good news on the injury news too, with midfielder Luke Chadwick expected to be fit for selection before the end of the season, while defender Adam Drury is making good progress in his rehabilitation from a knee injury.

“Adam's working towards the last few weeks and we've got to let him believe that - so who knows. Chaddie I would say definitely before the end of the season.

“Chaddie's doing well, really well and Adam Drury's also doing very well. They're certainly not behind time, they might be a few weeks ahead.

“They'll become part of the squad again. You need a squad of 20 players, not 10 or 11.”

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