Parting shot for McKenzie

Nigel Worthington fired a parting blast at Leon McKenzie over the acrimonious nature of his £1m exit from Carrow Road. Worthington said he was none too impressed with McKenzie's attitude after he made it clear in a phonecall that he was finished with the Canaries.

City boss Nigel Worthington today fired a parting blast at striker Leon McKenzie over the acrimonious nature of his £1m exit from Carrow Road.

Worthington - facing up to the disappointment of a fruitless transfer deadline day after his £2m deal to sign Bristol City's Welsh international striker David Cotterill was hijacked by Wigan Athletic - said he was none too impressed with McKenzie's attitude after he made it clear in a phonecall last night that he was finished with the Canaries.

“Leon's got what he wants and it doesn't matter about what Norwich City think or I think,” said Worthington.

“I felt very strongly that I wanted to keep him, the football club wanted to keep him, and we looked after him very well during his time here.


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“He said he had to go, citing personal reasons, but he told me last night he didn't want to come back to the club and play for Norwich City.

“I don't think that's the right way to treat the manager, directors or supporters of a football club.”

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After the August transfer window closed at midnight, the Canaries must now rely on setting up loan deals if they want to strengthen their squad before the window reopens in January - and are effectively a striker light after McKenzie's at times departure to Coventry for £1m.

But Worthington praised club officials for their “phenomenal” work is trying to clinch the Cotterill deal.

“It was no fault of Norwich City's that we didn't get the player. Neil Doncaster and Kevan Platt put in a huge amount of work and I must thank those two chaps for their efforts.”

Worthington said Cotterill was “a very exciting young talent who would have been a good addition to the squad for us”.

Cotterill, 18, had passed a medical and agreed terms with Norwich before the Premiership club weighed in with their late offer.

The teenager, whose excellent display for the Robins at Northampton was shown live on Sky TV on Tuesday night, admitted that the bright lights of the Premiership were too big an attraction to turn down.

He said: “I had talked with Nigel Worthington at Norwich, but then Wigan came in and I had a difficult choice to make.

“I thought about it long and hard, but the lure of the Premiership was too much to resist.”

The Latics confirmed they completed their £2m deal less than two hours before the transfer window closed - to the delight of manager Paul Jewell.

“He is a player we have been monitoring for some time and we have decided to act now,” said Jewell. “He is very quick, but he is also very hungry to learn and has a great attitude.

“David is one of those players who I think has the ability to make the grade in the Premiership, which is why we've decided to take him.”

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