Grant happy with player contract talks

Manager Peter Grant said he was happy with the progress of contract talks with City players - but only wants to keep people fully committed to the club.

Manager Peter Grant said he was happy with the progress of contract talks with City players - but only wants to keep people fully committed to the club.

Skipper Adam Drury and star forward Darren Huckerby are among those whose deals are up for renewal at the end of the season.

"The talks are going on but they seem to be more positive than negative which is always a good sign," said Drury.

"The biggest thing for me when I speak to any player is their first reaction - not financially but do they want to be here? And that's the feeling I've got from everyone, so that's been massive for me.

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"You can tell when somebody's just saying it for the sake of an extra few shillings, but I can genuinely feel from these boys that they desperately want to be here and they definitely feel as if we can achieve something here with a few additions. It's great to have boys here who want to play here."

It was that element of doubt that brought goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown's loan spell to an end, said Grant, when he returned to Portsmouth earlier this week.

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"Though I think the world of Jamie, as soon as there was a little bit of doubt in his mind, I cut it. As soon as there was a doubt it was go, go back, because I only want people that are 100 per cent behind what we're trying to do."

City have 13 players out of contract in the summer, although they have options on Drury plus the four youngsters who signed one-year deals at the end of last season - Andrew Cave-Brown, Matthew Halliday, Robert Eagle and Andrew Fisk.

Grant has already said he wants to offer Huckerby a deal to stay at Norwich, but that still leaves negotiations with those whose deals run out - Gary Doherty, Matthieu Louis-Jean, Craig Fleming, Peter Thorne, Dion Dublin, Ian Henderson and Joe Lewis.

There were no loan signings before Thursday's deadline, which means Grant cannot add to his squad until January.

He said: "We're more than capable with the squad we have, but we have to perform. It gives me an opportunity between now and the window to make sure that the people I do bring in, if I can get them in, will be the right ones, instead of just rushing around at the last moment."

One man whose future looks secure is Luke Chadwick, injured on his debut at Ipswich, but in line for a permanent move from Stoke.

"He's buoyant enough because at the end of the day I want him to be part of the club here. It's definitely something I'd look to make permanent," said Grant.

ÜAcademy striker Asmat El Ouargui has been informed he will not be offered a professional contract with City when his scholarship finishes at the end of this month.

Danish-born with Moroccan parents, El Ouargui moved to Norwich from Copenhagen in 2004 after a successful trial with the Canaries. He suffered a serious injury within months of joining, breaking a bone in his neck after a car accident close to the Colney training ground, which set his footballing progression back.

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