Sutton fearful after Huckerby's exit
Chris Lakey Ex-Canaries striker Chris Sutton admits he fears for his old club following the decision to show Darren Huckerby the exit door. Sutton put himself firmly in the pro-Huckerby camp by admitting he was surprised when Glenn Roeder failed to offer the 32-year-old a new contract.
Ex-Canaries striker Chris Sutton admits he fears for his old club following the decision to show Darren Huckerby the exit door.
Sutton put himself firmly in the pro-Huckerby camp by admitting he was surprised when Glenn Roeder failed to offer the 32-year-old a new contract.
“I think it is certainly going to be a massive, massive loss to the club to lose a player such as Darren Huckerby next season,” said Sutton. “That is a big thing. I am very surprised, as are most of the people I speak to, that they haven't offered him something.
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“You look at the squad and it is not the biggest or strongest squad and you have to try and keep hold of your best players and there is no doubt he certainly was one of the best players, if not the best player, and obviously losing Dion Dublin is going to be a big blow as well.”
Sutton scored 43 goals in 126 appearances for City before embarking on a multi-million pound journey that also took in Blackburn, Chelsea, Celtic, Birmingham and Aston Villa, where an eye injury ended his career.
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Ironically, it was Nigel Worthington's decision to bring Dublin back to City two years ago, rather than Sutton, which prevented thre 34-year-old ending his carer at the club which raised him.
“I would have come back, but that wasn't my decision,” said Sutton. “That was a decision at the time and it was a bit of a pain in the neck for me because I had to travel three hours across to Aston Villa. It would have been ideal to come back here but that wasn't to be.
“I would have loved to have come back to the club, but the manager at the time for one reason or another didn't want to take me, so that was that really.”
Worthington's successor, Peter Grant, expressed an interest a year ago, but by then Sutton was in the throes of retirement on medical grounds.
“It was very unexpected, but it was common sense really,” he said. “I had tests and saw a lot of specialists and they advised me not to carry on. At the age when I had the injury had that been 10 years earlier it would have been a real blow, but it put things in perspective - it was unfortunate, but it could have been a lot worse.
“I really miss the adrenalin you get before games, it's not the same.”
Sutton has to be content with a place in the stands nowadays, but has lost none of the affection for a club he joined as a schoolboy.
“I started here, I came up through the ranks and it is a club very close to my heart,” he said. “I live back in the area and I just hope now that Norwich can push on and get back into the Premiership and back to the good times.
“The facilities are fantastic, the training ground apparently is fantastic, but it is difficult because it is all down to the players.”
Sutton is currently enjoying the early stages of retirement back home in the north of the county, but was back at his old hunting ground on Sunday when he was voted into the Greatest Ever XI.
“It's a nice award to get,” he said. “Obviously I was part of a very good team really and I was fortunate to play with some very good players and when you play with good players you do find that it is easier to play, so it is down to that really.”