Hucks sick of being in a losing team

CHRIS LAKEY Darren Huckerby could put the lid on his playing career next summer after admitting he cannot face the prospect of playing for a losing team. And he says they still need a replacement for Youssef Safri.


Darren Huckerby could put the lid on his playing career next summer after admitting he cannot face the prospect of playing for a losing team.

The two-time Canaries Player of the Season has rarely taken a back seat at Carrow Road in the last four years, but events over recent months have clearly heightened his frustration.

The loss of big-name players during the summer triggered criticism, but it is managerless City's current plight which could prove to be the straw which breaks his back.

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Huckerby signed a new one-year deal last December, which takes to the end of this season, but while he says he will honour that contract, there are no guarantees he will sign another.

“I don't know,” said Huckerby after Saturday's 2-0 defeat West Brom. “Whatever happens I don't want to leave like this, but I am not going to be playing week in, week out for a team that loses every week, simple as that.

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“I don't want to be going places where people say things to my kids and stuff, I don't need it.

“But I will give it my all. I am contracted to the end of the season and I will give it my all to the end of the season, like everyone should do if they are contracted to the club.

“At the minute it is not great, it is probably the worst I have ever felt as a footballer in 16 years. There is always the next game and luckily for us it is the derby game, but until we start controlling games it is going to be the same.

“Unless a manager has bucket loads of money and is going to bring in six or seven players we have still got the same players. It is only the players that are here that can change anything until January, and that's another two months away.”

Norwich's inability to control games is the crux of the current discontent for Huckerby, who has seen Dickson Etuhu depart for Premier League Sunderland via a get-out clause in his contract and then Youssef Safri leave for Southampton after his relationship with Grant finally broke down.

Safri's absence could have been avoidable, Huckerby believes, but the result is the same.

“West Brom dictated the game again,” he said. “That's happened with most teams we have played against, we just haven't got someone on the ball who can hold it and make things happen.

“Obviously people aren't playing well, but we haven't dictated a game at all this season - maybe our first half against Cardiff.

“We are missing Saff, we have missed him since the day he left. We haven't had someone in his role who can make us tick, sort the tempo of the game out.

“People were saying we didn't need him in, there was Ramadan and all that, but the fact of the matter is we haven't replaced him.

“People loom at the downside of everything, but the fact is we haven't dictated a game since he left. That is not all of it, but we are going into games where other teams are controlling the complete midfield - like (Jonathan) Greening controlled everything.

“My own opinion is that Saff was here to the end of the season whatever; he was contracted to the club so he has got to play for the club, so at least we keep him until the end of the season then he can go, he serves out his contract like everybody should have to do.

“If they sign a contract they should have to serve out the contract. Saff is a nice lad, and now I think people realise how good a player he was.”

Whoever steps into the Carrow Road hot seat will no doubt be delighted to find a Darren Huckerby in their squad, but there's little chance they will be able to prevent him speaking his mind.

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