Canary star Darren Huckerby revealed today that he has two big targets to reach before the summer brings what the summer brings – 200 City starts and 50 Canary goals.
For with the long-time Norwich favourite's future still very much in the balance as all parties ponder whether there is another year-long deal to be had, so Huckerby's thoughts are set on reaching those two, Carrow Road milestones.
His place in City's all-time Hall Of Fame has long been assured; he may well find himself one of the 'Greatest Ever' before the summer is out. But to have 200 above one door and 50 above another – that would be something special.
Should he appear in tomorrow's clash against promotion-chasing Bristol City it will be his 198th appearance in a Canary shirt since he first arrived on loan in the autumn of 2003. Since then, including the five goals he scored on that three-month loan spell, he has hit the net 46 times.
And while the 200-game mark should be within reach – albeit with just six games of the season to go – digging out the last four goals he needs to hit the magic 50-mark might test even someone of Huckerby's attacking powers.
Fate hasn't been too kind to him in front of goal this season; nor has she done him too many favours on the fitness front with a second jab in the troubled hip only now seeming to have laid that particular niggle to rest.
“I need to chip in with a few more goals before the end of the season – I'm four away now from 50, so if I could get anywhere near that I'd be very happy,” said Huckerby at Colney this morning, revealing that he was very much a man for his own stats.
“I was hoping to get to 50 before 200 games, to be honest,” he added.
“Because then it's one in four and for a left-winger, that's pretty good. But we'll have to see what happens.”
Do they mean much to him, these big City milestones? “Of course they do, yes,” he said. “It'll be a big achievement to get to 200 games and, as I say, I'd have liked to have already got to the 50 goals.”
Huckerby's latest opportunities have come on his unfavoured right as Messrs Bertrand, Pattison and Camara between them shore up his old left-hand beat. But if that's what it takes to hit the magic 200…
“I do prefer to play on the left, but if the manager is going to ask me do I want to play on the left or sit on the bench, I'll play on the right all day long,” he said. “And, hopefully, keep it going until the end of the season.”
At which point a large crossroads arrives for all concerned. Will Huckerby follow his big pal Dion Dublin into the sunset – or is there far more life in the old dog yet? Could these last six games be the ones that persuade City boss Glenn Roeder to rifle through his top drawer and push a nice, new contract across the table?
“Who knows,” said Huckerby. “I don't think I've got anything to prove to myself. And, hopefully, at my age now I don't have to prove that I'm a good player – people know that now.
“I'll just enjoy my football until the end of the season and then see what happens.”
While last weekend's 5-1 dismissal of Colchester United left everyone in far more perkier mood going into tomorrow's clash with the promotion hopeful Robins, Huckerby is the first to admit that the job still needs to be done; that it may yet take 53 or 54 points to reach safety this season. Two more wins to leave the Canaries on 55 points and everyone, finally, can start to look forward to another season in the Championship.
“Six games to go – I think we'll be looking to win at least three of them,” said the City favourite, with most supporters banking on two of the homes, against Burnley and QPR, and springing a nasty derby surprise on the neighbours. Huckerby would, in every likelihood, follow suit.
“It's still going to be difficult, but last week was a big victory for us – and let's hope we can get another one on Saturday.”
Like his manager before him, Huckerby didn't see too much wrong with the spirit at Colney going into that crucial Colchester clash. It certainly felt right at Colney this morning with everyone intent on making Gary Johnson and Co work for their dream ticket to the top flight.
“Morale was pretty good,” he said. “We had a couple of dodgy results before that, but I thought we were playing OK; not exceptional, but well enough to win games. But we weren't winning games and, like I say, it was nice to get winning again and we've got to take that back on to the game on Saturday.”
So would he be whipping the ball out of Jamie Cureton's hands come the next spot-kick in his quest for that 200-goal mark?
“I think it'll mean more to Curo [Cureton] to score than me, so Curo can take it,” said Huckerby, clearly well-versed in Cureton's place in Bristol's football folk-lore. “But if he's nowhere to be seen, then I'll obviously step up.”