Peter won't be a Thorne in the side

CHRIS WISE Norwich City striker Peter Thorne has no intention of rocking the boat after falling out of favour for just about the first time in his professional career.


Norwich City striker Peter Thorne has no intention of rocking the boat after falling out of favour for just about the first time in his professional career.

The vastly experienced frontman has made just 13 starts for the Canaries since his summer move, and hasn't even made the substitutes' bench since a disappointing display in the 4-1 drubbing at Crystal Palace over a month ago.

It's all a far cry from his days at Swindon, Stoke and Cardiff when he was a regular in the starting line-up and was banging in the goals on a regular basis. He netted 163 times in 423 games for those three clubs and has managed to score just once for City, but there's no way this likeable character will be allowing his head to drop.

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Like all good professionals, Thorne has taken his recent omission from the squad on the chin - and has vowed to work as hard as is humanly possible to earn a recall from manager Nigel Worthington.

Thorne continued that process with an eye-catching display for the Reserves against Arsenal on Monday night and after helping the second string to a highly commendable 2-2 draw at Barnet's Underhill ground he is now hoping for a return to Championship action.

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“I haven't played for a while so it was nice to get out there,” he said. “It was a good game to play in because even Arsenal's reserves seem to be in top form at the moment and I really enjoyed it.

“It's frustrating when you are not in the first team but it's all part of the game. You have just got to keep your head down, keep working hard and make sure you stay fit so you are ready if required.

“It's hard to keep that match fitness up when you are playing in the reserves - especially when there aren't too many games. I guess I'll just have to get on that treadmill and do some running to make sure I am up to scratch!”

He added: “I played at Palace and that didn't go too well - and since then I haven't had a sniff. But it's one of those things. To be fair to the lads they have put together some good results recently and that has made it difficult for me to win a place back in the side. When things are going well the manager doesn't usually want to change it. In those circumstances you can't really complain when you are left out, even though you would obviously love to be in the team.”

Thorne still has hopes of forcing his way back into the team this season, but with just five games remaining time is running out on that front - and he has already got half an eye on making a fresh start in 2006-7.

“Wherever I have been I have always been used to regular first team football - this is the first club I have been at where it has not really happened,” said the 32-year-old striker, who is again likely to be on the sidelines when City travel to Preston tomorrow. “I had an injury earlier in the season which didn't help but I am fit now and I am obviously looking to work my way back into the side.

“I am not writing off this season yet - but the next one will be a fresh start and I am already looking forward to it.

“As far as this one is concerned it all comes down to this next game. If we don't win it reaching the play-offs will be impossible, but if we take three points then we will still have a slight chance. The lads have looked good in training this week and they'll be ready for Preston, I'm sure of that. It's just one of those games where you have got to go out and give everything you've got - and I'm sure that's exactly what they will do.”

While Thorne is likely to find himself out in the cold for the sixth game in a row tomorrow his manager made it clear that he was still very much in his thoughts.

“Peter has been working very hard in training and he performed very well for the Reserves the other night,” he said. “He is part of it. He is an excellent pro and we get on very well. It's just a football decision.

“He hasn't been in the squad recently but that's all part of the game. I was watching Chelsea last week and there were a lot of multi-million pound players just sitting on the bench behind the manager - and there was even more of them sitting in the stand.

“Like all managers I can only pick 16 players, 11 to start and five to be substitutes.”

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