The Darren Huckerby contract saga was further clouded in mystery today after the City talisman admitted he would be willing to discuss a new deal with the Canaries.
With Norwich boss Glenn Roeder revealing last week that he thought Huckerby had “made his own mind up” that he was leaving, the City hero has insisted that he just wants to get back to doing what he loves most ? pulling on that yellow and green shirt.
Any contract issue would be sorted in good time, and even if this was to be his last season in Norfolk, he was determined to go out with a bang.
But the fact that he has not ruled out an extended stay will come as a huge boost to Canary fans ahead of the clash with Barnsley at Carrow Road tomorrow.
“I've been here for four years and I love the club,” said the fans' favourite.
“I would definitely discuss a new contract if an offer came my way. My relationship with the supporters is very good and we've been on a long journey together and hopefully it will continue a little bit longer.
“But, and quite rightly so, the gaffer hasn't decided to do that at this minute. I'm not silly; would I offer me a new contract at the minute? Maybe not, because I probably don't deserve one.”
Only three weeks ago, Huckerby's agent Phil Smith claimed that his client would be moving on in the summer, but, as we've discovered before, things are not always what they seem.
This particular story is set to run and run?
“Sometimes my agent does things – he's got my best interests at heart but sometimes he doesn't think when he says things,” the 31-year-old added.
“He's doing his job. Realistically, I could sign for somebody else now. I haven't had a contract offer, so he's probably doing his job.
“Everybody knows I speak the truth and I'll be here to the end of the season, whatever happens.
“Me and the manager have spoken. It's clear what the situation is. There's no problem there. People try to make things out that aren't there. The fact of the matter last week is the gaffer didn't want to pick me. That's all it was.”
The wing wizard ? who is sure to get a rousing reception from the City faithful tomorrow ? was also keen to stress that there had been no bust-up and certainly no falling out.
Messageboard gossip had been rife with a Huckerby vs Roeder showdown on the horizon but as far as the former Manchester City man is concerned, there is no issue whatsoever.
“The fans don't really know what is going on but the fact of the matter is I've had no fall-out with the manager whatsoever. I read things that I've fallen out with every manager I've ever played for. I can honestly say I've never fallen out with any of them.
“Maybe I've said things at certain times which have been seen as controversial, but a lot of the time it's the truth and I think people would rather hear that than some spiel about 'Oh no, everything's great'.
“Maybe I get picked out because you boys seem to make headlines out of the stuff I say, but I'm happy with the contribution I've made at this club.
“If you ask any manager I've played for, I think they will say I'm a joy to work with. I work hard, I try my best every week and I'm a very good professional.
“I've had disagreements with managers but I would never say I've fallen out with any of them.”
As for tomorrow, Huckerby has been too influential for the Canaries to label his return to the starting line-up his 'big chance'. He's got nothing to prove to anyone.
But, he did admit that it's a massive opportunity for him to play his part in getting City back to winning ways. Like any player, he just wants to be playing football, and you can just sense that he is bang up for this one?
“It's big,” Huckerby added. “We've got a few suspensions and that has pushed me up the pecking order a bit. I want to play for this club and whatever chance I get I'll play. If it's off the bench or starting, that's the manager's decision.
“I don't think I really need to show what I can do but I've got to get a level of consistency that I've shown over the last four years and that I haven't had this season.
“I've had issues this season and hopefully I'm getting over them now and I want to give it my best shot to the end of the season. I just want to be part of this team for whatever time I've got left.”
And with the Canaries desperate to blow the Leicester cobwebs well and truly out of their system, Huckerby also sounded a warning on the threat tomorrow's opponents will pose.
With a heroic FA Cup triumph over Liverpool still fresh in the memory, the City forward is expecting a fired up Tykes side come 3.00pm this Saturday.
“Hopefully they will be up for it, because we will be. But we've lost three very good players so it's going to be a tough game for us.”
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