Taylor a City target no more

David Cuffley The Canaries have finally given up hope of bringing Birmingham defender Martin Taylor to Carrow Road.Manager Glenn Roeder has admitted he is unlikely to be able to persuade the Blues to part with the 28-year-old centre-half and has turned his attention to new targets.

David Cuffley

The Canaries have finally given up hope of bringing Birmingham defender Martin Taylor to Carrow Road.

Manager Glenn Roeder has admitted he is unlikely to be able to persuade the Blues to part with the 28-year-old centre-half and has turned his attention to new targets.

Taylor had a very successful eight-match loan spell with City last season as they began their climb away from the bottom of the Championship.


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The move could have became permanent in January with Taylor in line to become Norwich's best-paid player but Birmingham instead accepted an offer of £1.25m from Queen's Park Rangers - and the player declined the move to London.

His recall to the Birmingham first team was marred by the controversial tackle that broke Arsenal star Eduardo da Silva's leg - and the red card and suspension that followed - but manager Alex McLeish now wants to keep the big defender for Championship duty.

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Asked whether Taylor still figured in his plans, Roeder said: “No, I think as far as I understand it, because Birmingham have been relegated and he proved in their promotion year back to the Premiership that he's a major player in this division, they want to keep him.

“But I'm not too worried. I've got other targets in that position that I'm working on and I'm confident that we'll have breakthroughs with players in that position over the next few weeks.

“There are a lot of people on holiday and not contactable and we'll just have to sit here, stay calm and wait for some more action. But there needs to be action because I've thinned the squad out to the point of being bare.”

Roeder's need to strengthen the centre of defence will become more acute if Gary Doherty rejects a new deal.

The former player of the season has not given City an answer to their contract offer and is reported to be a target for San Jose Earthquakes, but Roeder, speaking directly to the media for the first time for six weeks, warned that the grass was not always greener on the other side.

“We want him to sign. We've made him a good offer and he's gone away to think about it. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer for some people for things to sink in than it does for others,” said Roeder.

“I'm not worried about it. There's no panic. Everyone else seems to be running round like headless chickens. Let's just stay nice and calm. We're not moving from the training ground so I'm assuming when Doc comes back he'll know where we are and then we'll see him and we'll talk.

“The contract's there for him to sign and if he wants to sign it, fantastic. If he doesn't, that's life. If he can find somewhere better than Norwich City, good luck to him. I don't think he will.

“There's no deadline - at the moment, there's not. But who knows? I'll let him know if there ever is a deadline.

“There's no football to be played at the moment and we'll see him when he comes back, if not before.

“I'm not jumping up and down. I'm not running around the room because of the situation. That's how it is. He did very well for us last year, Doc, I have to say. For long periods he was probably our most consistent player in terms of performance. He was knocking out one after the other where you felt safe with him. He's a very safe defender.”

Roeder, who brought Nottingham Forest midfielder Sammy Clingan in on a free transfer as his first summer signing, said he was confident of adding more new faces soon, with one deal particularly close.

He said: “I'm hopeful. There's one in particular keeps hitting the wall and bouncing away but every time it's bouncing away it's not bouncing so far, so hopefully the next time it hits the wall it stays put and then we've got him.

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