Thursday, June 21, 2012
The man who brought Adam Drury to Norwich City has endorsed the left-back’s switch to Championship club Leeds United.
Former Canaries chief Nigel Worthington ranks Drury’s acquisition among the best of his managerial career with the 33-year-old’s arrival at the club back in 2001 leading to more than a decade of unbroken Carrow Road service.
Worthington was as surprised as City’s fans at Drury’s decision to head north when he becomes a free agent next month, but the Northern Irishman knows from first-hand experience Drury has made a good choice moving to Yorkshire.
“When I heard it reminded me of my own playing career. I had 11 years at Sheffield Wednesday and went on a two year contract to Leeds as well so it brought back memories, I must admit,” he said. “The training facilities, the stadium and the support really is Premier League quality.
“It is a big, big club and they are trying to get everything back together and get the running of the club right financially. It is a very, very good move. I was a bit surprised when I heard the news that he had left the football club. He has done his service and he was a fantastic servant and he was real value for money.
“Adam was always a credit to himself and Norwich City Football Club, but Leeds is always an ambitious club. The attitude never changes; whatever league they are in, they want to aim higher. Adam is the ideal character to have in the dressing room and on the football pitch. It is a good move for both parties.”
Worthington saw enough of Drury in Premier League action last season to know the dependable left-back can still cut it at Elland Road.
“I watched Adam a number of times with my radio work for the BBC and Adam was still performing like he has always performed,” he said. “By that I mean he was turning in good, solid, steady performances and never let anyone down.
“I have said it in the past but in my managerial career, my value-for-money signings were Gary Holt for £100,000 and Adam for £300,000. They were absolute snips when you see the service and the commitment that they have given.
“Those sort of players are few and far between nowadays and the loyalty that Adam has given to Norwich has been fantastic. It is unusual in the modern day game now.
“There is always the potential for the odd individual to do that, but as time moves on it becomes less and less likely, due to the nature of the game. He had his testimonial against Celtic the other week and it was fully deserved.”
Drury’s pending exit will be felt in the City dressing room as much as on the pitch, but Worthington is convinced Chris Hughton is the perfect successor to build on Paul Lambert’s legacy.
“I know Chris very well. I think it was a fantastic appointment for Norwich City and he will have players in mind to fill that void already,” said Worthington.
“I think it was inevitable that Paul would go at some stage because he had a fantastic three years at the football club, but Chrissy will do a good, solid job and he is a very likeable individual.
“For me, for Norwich City, the prize is to stay in the Premier League again this year. That is huge and that is where I would be coming from. I certainly don’t think it is a case of trying to beat 12th (in the table).
“It would be very nice if it could happen but just staying in it again would be a huge achievement.”
Worthington was the last manager before Lambert to guide the club into the Premier League and he remains keen on a return to the ranks after his four-year stint as Northern Ireland boss ended in 2011.
“I’m enjoying doing the media work,” he said. “It gets me out to games and seeing players, so I’m enjoying that side of it but when the opportunity arises to get back in I will be ready to go again and get my teeth stuck in, whatever happens.
“I am just enjoying my time out, recharging the batteries.”
Transfer target Ola Toivonen may be on his long awaited vacation – but the striker has admitted he is going to use the time to open talks with Norwich City over a possible move to the Premier League.