It’s decision time
Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder's summer clear-out begins in earnest today - and the Canaries boss could be left with just a handful of first team players to build on. Roeder has promised a huge clear-out in the summer, but players will have to be moved out before new ones can come in.
Glenn Roeder's summer clear-out begins in earnest today - and the Canaries boss could be left with just a handful of first team players to build on.
Roeder has promised a huge clear-out in the summer, but players will have to be moved out before new ones can come in.
Even though Roeder says he has the full backing of his board, it is clear there is little spare cash to throw at players, and that means Roeder will have to buy into the “ambition with prudence” mantra.
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The major decisions are expected imminently, with Darren Huckerby, skipper Mark Fotheringham and central defender Gary Doherty all out of contract in the summer.
Now that City's turbulent campaign has finally been put to bed, all are expected to know, possibly as early as today, whether or not their services will be required next season.
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Doherty refused to comment on his future at the weekend, while Fotheringham says he is happy to stay on if wanted.
But the biggest question surrounds fans' favourite Huckerby. One web site claimed yesterday that the 32-year-old winger was set to be offered a new one-year deal, although the player himself has hinted in recent weeks that his days at Carrow Road were numbered.
Roeder was furious after Sunday's 4-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, but said his decision over departures had been made up for some time.
“We've got a lot of players out of contract now,” he said. “Some of them will be staying and some of them will be going.
“So it's going to be a busy summer with a major rebuilding going on. I know the Board will do everything they can to support me, we will just have to wait and see what's available to work with.”
Lee Croft has dropped out of favour in recent weeks, but if Huckerby goes then Roeder may want to keep the winger on board, while the decision on Doherty may have important repercussions for Jason Shackell, with Roeder determined to tighten up the centre of his defence. If Doherty stays, Shackell may feel more vulnerable.
A sign of what may be around the corner has come in recent weeks with the addition of four young Academy products - Damon Lathrope, Luke Daley, Korey Smith and Sunday afternoon sub Declan Rudd - to the squad list.
But even without them, there could be just a handful of survivors from the season should Roeder be able to offload dead wood, even that under contract.
Dion Dublin's retirement leaves a big gap to be filled, as does the return of the loan players who played such a significant role in City's survival.
The futures of Simon Lappin and Ryan Jarvis, who are both currently out on loan, look bleak - while Juan Velasco is unlikely to be offered an extension to his current short-term deal.
Back-up keeper Matty Gilks has been frustrated by his lack of first team opportunities and, with great things expected of Rudd, he could become a summer departure. Rudd's emergence also casts doubt on Steven Arnold's prospects as third choice.
Teenagers Chris Martin and Michael Spillane have come under fire from Roeder during the season - whether or not they have responded remains to be seen. Martin only made the bench in a youthful reserve team last week and found himself the subject of adverse headlines last week concerning his social behaviour. Neither player has played for the first team since January.
There will be big question marks over fringe players Bally Smart, Patrick Bexfield, Andrew Cave-Brown, Matthew Halliday, Rossi Jarvis and Robert Eagle - all of whom have failed to make any impact under Roeder.
Kris Renton's season has been interrupted by a serious injury but Roeder will take another look at him in pre-season before making a decision on his future.
All of which could leave Roeder with just a handful of established first team players on which to build - David Marshall, Jon Otsemobor, Adam Drury, Jamie Cureton, Luke Chadwick, Darel Russell, Matty Pattison, Jason Shackell and Lee Croft.