Regrets? He had just one – that as the curtain fell on Darren Huckerby's Canary career, he didn't have the opportunity to say his proper good-byes.
No Dion-like lap of honour; no standing ovation from the Leppings Lane End on Sunday. Otherwise, he repeated his line of earlier this spring – that today's news was just football. These things happen; that he had half-expected Glenn Roeder's decision even before he walked into the manager's office at Colney at 9.50am this morning.
“The first I knew was ten-to-ten – I had no idea,” said the 32-year-old two-time Player of the Season, as Roeder – ever a master of his own destiny – opted to take a different course next season. One that didn't involve offering the City winger a new deal. He – and eight others – officially became free agents this morning as Roeder's promised cull took dramatic effect.
“We had a conversation,” Huckerby revealed, speaking at an informal Press conference at Carrow Road this afternoon. “The gaffer thanked me for my efforts while he had been here. It was a good conversation – no arguing or shouting or anything like that.
“He says he wants to take the club in a different direction with his own players. And I've got no problem with that at all. I've got the best interests of the club at heart and whatever he feels is the best, is the best.
“Obviously I'm disappointed because I still feel that I'm a decent enough player,” added Huckerby, who bagged his 48th and final goal for the Norfolk club in Sunday's 4-1 defeat at Hillsborough – little knowing that within 48 hours he would be emptying his locker at Colney.
“It is a sad day,” he said. “And I probably saw it coming because he hadn't spoken to me about that [a new contract] at all, so it's not like it's been on-going, put it that way.”
In years gone by, Huckerby's new, one-year deal had been virtually done and dusted by the New Year. This year, however, and all such talk was put on hold until Norwich's fate this season was decided. Fate secured by that home win over Queen's Park Rangers and the manager's decision was delivered. Time for a clean sweep, a new broom, a fresh start.
“I've not had a row with him at all,” stressed Huckerby, quizzed as to whether or not there was anything else that lay behind today's decision.
“I had a bit of a hip issue earlier in the season and it took me a bit of time to get over that, but especially over the last two or three months I've been feeling great.
“And whenever I've been fully fit I think I've produced the goods,” he said. “But it's not personal. I think you'll find that the manager is honest and open – and that's the way it is.”
Suddenly the Huckerbys, as a family, are at a cross-roads – only one that now does not involve the path sign-posted 'Norwich'. It may be that the two parties' paths may cross again, but in the short-term people are now going their seperate ways; the die has been cast.
“It is a strange feeling,” said the 32-year-old. Having long worn his Canary heart on his sleeve, it can't have been easy – in fairness, he handled his final Press conference with immense dignity and good grace. In similar circumstances others would have reached for the nearest book of matches and burned their bridges; Huckerby knew – and acted – better.
“Cleaning out my locker today was hard – especially seeing Dion [Dublin] do it five minutes before me.
“And sitting there in-between Shacks [Jason Shackell] and Crofty [Lee Croft] who are good friends and I'm not saying possibly not see them again, but not get changed with them again; play with them again. It's difficult.
“But that's football. It is hard for me, but the club comes first. And always will do.”
His biggest regret after the better part of five years at Carrow Road was the fact that he never had his chance to say his proper good-byes – to the supporters who, from day one, took him to their hearts and through all that followed on the pitch in the wake of relegation, never really let him go. He was their constant as the likes of Dean Ashton, Robert Green, Youssef Safri and Robert Earnshaw came and went.
“I spoke to Neil [Doncaster] about it just before,” said Huckerby. “And that's the only regret that I've got.
“That I feel that it should have been done a week ago. Personally – so I could have said my good-byes to the fans.”
The fact that Dublin was heading off into the sunset made Huckerby hang back, not crowd his space. But that was the regret – that the two did not bow out together.
“Because Dion was going as well, I always felt I was in the background. And deep down in my mind, I always thought that it was a possibility that I could go. And it would have been nice to my good-byes to the fans properly. But you don't always get what you want in football…”
He did, at least, sign off in the best possible way – a trademark curling finish over and away from Lee Grant for that ninth minute opener. With Dublin on hand to open the door into the Wednesday box, it was a fitting way to finish – if finish it had to be.
“It was a good goal; good finish – shame we couldn't have got the win; we should have been 5-0 up at half-time. And I wouldn't say that that goal sums me up, but that's what I'm capable of. And I think I may be capable of that for a few years to come.”