Lappin signs new Norwich City contract

David Cuffley Simon Lappin proved that patience is a virtue as he signed a new two-year contract with Norwich City. Manager Bryan Gunn's vote of confidence in the Scottish midfielder completed a remarkable about-turn in fortunes, coming 12 months after he was put up for sale by former boss Glenn Roeder.

David Cuffley

Simon Lappin proved that patience is a virtue as he signed a new two-year contract with Norwich City yesterday.

Manager Bryan Gunn's vote of confidence in the Scottish midfielder completed a remarkable about-turn in fortunes, coming 12 months after he was put up for sale by former boss Glenn Roeder.

Lappin endured a nightmare when he was axed from the senior ranks in November 2007 after playing just three games under Roeder. He was loaned to Motherwell for the latter stages of the 2007-08 season, then left to train with the youth team players at Colney. It was 16 months before he made another first team appearance for City, featuring in the 1-1 draw at Birmingham in March during their vain bid to stay in the Championship with Gunn in charge.

Now, after five outings at the end of last season, the 26-year-old Lappin has been handed a place in Gunn's squad for the League One campaign.

He said: “I'm absolutely over the moon. I'm glad to get it done now so I can just get on with playing football. I told the manager I wanted to be here and I'm happy it's sorted.

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“I've said before that although it might not always be the case, I want to play every minute of every game and I've told the manager all along I want to play for Norwich.”

Lappin was signed from St Mirren by former boss Peter Grant in January 2007 for a reported fee of �75,000. His transfer window arrival coincided with that of fellow Scottish midfielder Mark Fotheringham as a free agent.

Roeder's arrival led to Fotheringham being named captain, while Lappin was banished from the senior reckoning, but their fortunes turned full circle under Gunn as Lappin returned to the fold and Fotheringham lost the armband before his contract was cancelled early.

Lappin, who has made 38 senior appearances and scored three goals for City, admitted he had been through a very difficult time.

He told the club's official website: “It's been a tough year but this is a challenge we're all looking forward to, and I just can't wait to get the season started.

“I want us to go back up to the Championship and we need to believe we can do that - there's no point in turning up if we don't believe we can do it. We've got a good enough squad of players and there'll be one or two additions as well, so we all have to believe we can go back up.”

Gunn said: “I'm delighted Simon has signed this new deal and extended his contract with the club. I know Simon was a little frustrated last season, but the one thing that really impresses about him is that he never gave in. He has a tremendous attitude and he's a real credit - he forced his way back into my plans.

“This is a good opportunity for him to make his name at Norwich City.”

One City target who will not be joining Gunn's squad is Spanish centre-back Miguel Angel Llera, who has become League One rivals Charlton's first signing of the close season after turning down a new deal with Milton Keynes Dons.

The 29-year-old has signed a two-year deal at The Valley.

Said manager Phil Parkinson: “He's played a year now in English football and had a good season at MK Dons. I feel that experience of getting used to English football is going to benefit him greatly.”