Hucks made to sweat over new contract
David Cuffley Darren Huckerby scored the 48th goal of his Norwich City career yesterday - but still has no idea if it will be his last. Huckerby gave the Canaries a ninth-minute lead before they collapsed to a 4-1 defeat in their final Championship fixture of the season at Sheffield Wednesday.
Darren Huckerby scored the 48th goal of his Norwich City career yesterday - but still has no idea if it will be his last.
Huckerby gave the Canaries a ninth-minute lead before they collapsed to a 4-1 defeat in their final Championship fixture of the season at Sheffield Wednesday.
But the 32-year-old forward, out of contract this summer, said he had been told nothing about whether or not he figures in manager Glenn Roeder's plans for 2008-09.
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“Like I said, they've not spoken to me at all. In the next week it's got to be done but, like I say, I'm not a YTS lad. It's a bit strange that I'm having to wait but that's how it goes,” said Huckerby, one of three men on duty at Hillsborough - along with skipper Mark Fotheringham and defender Gary Doherty - whose current deals are about to expire.
Roeder spoke on Friday about talking to players tomorrow and Wednesday before making an announcement on who will be staying - or will be offered the chance to stay - and who goes.
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“I think that's what the manager said so we shall wait and see,” said Huckerby, who chalked up the 203rd appearance in 4½ years with the Canaries.
His goal, a splendid finish after a one-two with Dion Dublin, ought to have opened the floodgates as Wednesday reeled under City's early assault. Instead, the hosts hit back to win with a controversial Deon Burton penalty midway through the first half and three second-half goals.
“It was very, very strange,” said Huckerby. “In the first half we were the much better team and looked very strong going forward.
“Everything seemed to work for us, we could have been two or three up. Ched (Evans) had a good chance and we were cutting them open at will but the second half wasn't good enough and that's probably been the story of our season.
“We looked comfortable, really, and then I think it was a bad decision by the referee.”
Jason Shackell was adjudged to have tripped Burton.
Said Huckerby: “We looked at it on the video and it was never a penalty and it was outside the box, so we are very disappointed.
“But it kind of changed the game because we were in the ascendancy. It looked like there could only be one winner.
“Jason definitely got the ball cleanly. The linesman didn't give it, he said it wasn't a penalty. But the referee's a good referee and everyone can mistakes.”
The goal changed the game and Huckerby admitted: “In the end, they looked like they were going to score every time they were in our area. It has happened so many times - we haven't defended as well as we should do.”
Huckerby had a special word for 39-year-old Dion Dublin, who was given a huge ovation by both sets of fans when he was substituted after 65 minutes on the last appearance of his career.
“It's great, he deserved it. I've known him for a long time now, a lot of years, and he's been a great servant to the game, so we'll miss him,” said Huckerby.