Worthy frustrated at lack of signings
DAVID CUFFLEY Nigel Worthington has admitted to his simmering frustration at failing to add any new faces to his senior squad over the summer. More than 10 weeks after the final match of last season, the Canaries have yet to unveil any new signings for the 2006-07 Coca-Cola Championship campaign, and have come under fire from supporters for their lack of activity.
City boss Nigel Worthington today admitted to his simmering frustration at failing to add any new faces to his senior squad over the summer.
More than 10 weeks after the final match of last season, the Canaries have yet to unveil any new signings for the 2006-07 Coca-Cola Championship campaign, and have come under fire from supporters for their lack of activity.
Both club chairman Roger Munby and chief executive Neil Doncaster have reassured fans that new players will be recruited before the season kicks off, but Worthington clearly fears that the tight budget at his disposal leaves him little room for manoeuvre.
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“With the money we have got to spend it is proving very difficult to get the quality of player that I want,” he said.
“We have got a couple of phone calls in to different clubs, but nothing has happened at all.”
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Strikers Steve Howard, Rob Hulse and Izale McLeod plus winger Luke Chadwick have all been identified as City targets, but asked whether he expected any new arrivals this week, Worthington was not optimistic.
He said: “It is most important from my point of view that we get people in as early as possible. The problem is that anybody who joins us now will be 2½ weeks behind in training and the very high levels of fitness we are trying to achieve.
“We have to be proactive rather than reactive. We signed Dean Ashton in January instead of pre-season and I think the lesson should have been learned from that.
“Things can develop very fast and it is a case of you can miss out if you don't move swiftly.”
More than once Worthington has alluded to the “very tight” budget he has to work with for new players.
Exactly how much is in the City transfer kitty has not been disclosed but Doncaster said last week that “making any money available out of our cash flow for players is difficult.”
Certainly the Canaries were quick to recoil from Leeds' asking price of £2m for Hulse, which suggests there may be little more than half that sum to spend on fees and salaries.
While the transfer stalemate continues, the list of City squad numbers issued for 2006-07 contains an alarming string of blank spaces that used to be occupied by senior players.
While the existing first-team players have retained their numbers from last term, the shirts vacated by departing players such as Jason Jarrett (7), Jim Brennan and Jonatan Johansson (11), Darren Ward (12) and Simon Charlton (16) remain up for grabs.
The prized No 9 shirt, worn for the first half of last season by on-loan winger Dean Marney, has still to be claimed as the Canaries attempt to line up a new striker.
New professionals such as Robert Eagle (26) and Andrew Fisk (32) join the list while last season's newcomers, Rossi Jarvis, Michael Spillane and Andrew Cave-Brown, retain their numbers.