Roeder signals Huckerby exit

Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder is preparing for a massive rebuilding programme at Carrow Road - but believes it may not include Darren Huckerby.

Chris Lakey

Glenn Roeder is preparing for a massive rebuilding programme at Carrow Road - but believes it may not include Darren Huckerby.

The City manager's Greats Escape goes on, and while a place in the top half of the table is a target from today's trip to Leicester, thoughts are turning to the summer overhaul.

Roeder is resigned to losing a clutch of loan players and will have to shake hands with Dion Dublin, who brings the curtain down on his long career at the end of the season.

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The big question mark is over Huckerby - although Roeder believes the City winger has already made up his mind.

“It looks pretty certain that before I have had a chance to make my mind up Huckerby has made his own mind up that he is leaving,” said Roeder, a clear reference to recent media comments by the player's agent, Phil Smith, that his client would be looking for a “new challenge” in the summer when his contract expires.

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Gary Doherty and skipper Mark Fotheringham have indicated that they are keen to stay after the expiry of their deals - but Roeder reckons he is looking at wholesale imports.

“If you strip away the loans and see what I am using there is not a lot is there?” he said. “You are looking at nine players down, so there is a real rebuilding job to be done here, which we always knew.

“We knew what our first goal was this year - there's still a lot of work to be done, a lot of points to be gained, but then after that we have to face the reality that potentially there are going to be nine players at least.”

Roeder believes Doherty and Fotheringham will stay.

“Both players tell me they want to, it is just a question of sitting down and getting a new contract agreed with both of them,” he said.

Roeder has seven loan players on his books, although one of them, Matthew Bates, has returned to Middlesbrough after suffering knee ligament damage on his left knee, which will require surgery for the third time in 18 months.

“He is the sort of player we probably couldn't have afforded, but the sort of player I would like to have signed,” Roeder said.

“If we are going to do the job properly here we need seven or eight Matthew Bates' in the club, those characters.”

However, Roeder isn't planning to rush into the loan market again soon

“The problem is you can only use five in the 16 for every game and you don't want to be sitting players in the stand, because if I was the manager loaning the player I would be on the phone double quick saying, 'he might as well be sitting in my stand',” Roder said.

“We have just got to be careful on that one. There were already two sitting in the stand - obviously Matthew has gone back now and if he comes off the loan we are still one over. In an emergency situation it wouldn't stop me going into that market again, but you have got to be careful.”

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