Jarrett to join Preston

CHRIS WISE Norwich City misfit Jason Jarrett looks to have played his last game for the club. The 26-year-old midfielder, who has failed to deliver the goods for the Canaries since signing on a free transfer during the summer, is set to join Championship rivals Preston on loan until the end of the season.

CHRIS WISE

Norwich City misfit Jason Jarrett looks to have played his last game for the club.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who has failed to deliver the goods for the Canaries since signing on a free transfer during the summer, is set to join Championship rivals Preston on loan until the end of the season.

If everything goes to plan he will sign for the high-flying Lancashire outfit on a permanent basis during the summer, thus bringing to an end an unhappy spell at Carrow Road that has seen him make just nine starts for Nigel Worthington's side.


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City are confident that the deal will go ahead but they were at pains to stress last night that nothing had been signed as yet, despite reports to the contrary on Preston's official website.

That carried an item introducing Jarrett as the club's new No 6, together with quotes from the player and a picture of him holding up a Preston shirt.

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Lilywhites boss Billy Davies is clearly confident of getting his man, but the Canaries swiftly issued a statement on their own website stating merely that they hoped to conclude a loan deal, with a view to a permanent transfer, on Monday.

It was left to Jarrett to do the talking, with the former Wigan midfielder informing Preston fans how pleased he was to be moving back closer to home after an unhappy eight-month spell in Norfolk.

"It's a good club and I am delighted to be here," he said. "All my family are up here and I am really looking forward to coming back up north.

"I have seen a little bit of the team and from what I have seen they are a good passing team with a lot of strength and they play good football.

"I am a box to box player with a lot of energy and the manager wants me to score goals, which I think I am capable of doing. Hopefully I can add something to the team."

Jarrett came out with similar quotes when he joined the Canaries during the summer after deciding against trying to battle for a first-team place at newly-promoted Wigan. He was seen by many as a natural replacement for Damien Francis, who moved in the opposite direction, but rarely looked capable of filling his boots.

An early injury didn't help, but even when fit Jarrett failed to deliver on a consistent basis in the midfield engine-room. City boss Worthington knew the player well from their time together at Blackpool, but, for some reason, he couldn't get the best out of him and he ended up being shipped out to Plymouth on loan after a mere handful of starts.

Jarrett played seven games for the Pilgrims, and did well by all accounts, but he failed to reproduce that eye-catching form on his return and yesterday's developments came as little surprise.

The Lancastrian made a total of 15 appearances for the Canaries and never scored a single goal. What will almost certainly turn out to be his final game for the club came as a late substitute in the 4-0 defeat at Reading on January 31.

City play Preston at Deepdale on April 8 - but it is understood Jarrett will be prevented from playing in that fixture under the terms of his loan agreement.

Jarrett's new club found themselves with an unexpected idle weekend on their hands when today's home match with Ipswich was called off yesterday because of a frozen pitch.

Preston general manager Ben Rhodes said: "We wanted to make an early decision before the Ipswich team and fans set off on the long trip up here.

"After our long trip to Plymouth earlier in the season - only to find the game off - we wanted to keep disruption to a minimum."

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