Huckerby: I've always been a team player
CHRIS LAKEY Darren Huckerby says any accusations that he is not a team player are wide of the mark.City's flying winger had to make do with a run-out from the bench at Colchester on Saturday, having suffered a back injury in training last week.
Darren Huckerby says any accusations that he is not a team player are wide of the mark.
City's flying winger had to make do with a run-out from the bench at Colchester on Saturday, having suffered a back injury in training last week.
It was only the eighth time in more than four years that Huckerby has come on as a sub for City, where his inclusion on the bench generally tends to raise a few eyebrows given that he has always been considered an almost certain starter, fitness permitting.
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Huckerby's propensity for taking matters into his own hands, on and off the pitch, has led to accusations that he is not a team player, but the man himself refuses to accept the criticism.
Canaries boss Glenn Roeder has preached a team ethic since he took over at the end of October - and Huckerby isn't about to argue with it.
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"I have always been a team player," he said. "If you look since I have been here I have probably set up twice as many goals as I have scored.
"People have said, 'he's not a team player', but you look at my assists and I think that answers that question. I am a team player, hopefully I make us a better attacking side."
Roeder had a big decision to make for Saturday, with Darel Russell available again after suspension, and Huckerby not declared fit until the day before the game.
"His back went into spasm and he was literally carried off the training ground," said Roeder. "Although he was declared fit on Friday I thought I didn't want to take a chance and start him and I thought he could have an impact later on in the game if we saved him for that last half hour or so, and he very nearly did."
Huckerby said: "I pulled up a little bit on Tuesday and didn't train again until Friday, but I think the manager wanted to be a bit more solid anyway, so who knows, I will be looking forward to hopefully being back in the team on Saturday at Scunthorpe."
Huckerby and Dion Dublin joined the fray within a minute of each other with around half an hour remaining, but it was never a game on which they could really impose their authority.
"It's difficult coming on as a sub," Huckerby said. "Dion said to me afterwards, 'it's murder when you come on as sub', and it's especially so when you are a bit older. It takes longer to get warmed up and it is difficult. I hope to be starting on Saturday - but whatever the manager wants to do the manager will do.
"It wasn't a great game - it wasn't great watching from the sidelines to be honest. But it's not an easy place to come and we're probably happy with a point, but we should be beating teams like Colchester. We're a little disappointed but we'll take a point.
"We have to get as many points as we can and this is a difficult place to come so we have to build on this and hopefully go and get three points at Scunthorpe. Colchester are right near us, they didn't make any ground on us so we are happy to go to Scunthorpe on a little bit of a run still."