Croft's attitude pleases boss

CHRIS LAKEY Nigel Worthington has few reasons to change his line-up for today's visit by Luton Town, with just about everyone firing on all cylinders.


Nigel Worthington has few reasons to change his line-up for today's visit by Luton Town, with just about everyone firing on all cylinders.

And that includes Lee Croft, the £600,000 buy from Manchester City who has been in Norfolk for less than a fortnight but has settled seamlessly into his role down the right flank.

Croft earned himself a standing ovation from the Carrow Road crowd after his 70 minutes against Preston on Tuesday as part of a three-pronged attack that included Darren Huckerby and Robert Earnshaw.

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For a 21-year-old moving away from his roots for the first time, the switch could have been a daunting experience - but City boss Nigel Worthington says the combination of the club and the fans means his new recruit is being well looked after.

“He won't have home sickness,” said Worthington. “The way that this club looks after young players he won't have it. The club, the staff, the players, the people of Norwich are first class at making people welcome, so there is nothing standing in the way at all that we can't get round.”

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Croft has impressed Worthington on and off the pitch.

On it, he has solved a long-standing problem and immediately changed the way City play. Off it, he has been comfortable with the media attention and has clearly settled in well with his team-mates

“I have been delighted with him in different ways,” Worthington said. “One, because of the young man that he is. He has got a nice manner, he's got a good character, wants to work, wants to join in the group, be part of it and his two performances up to now have been very, very pleasing. And there is still a lot more to come from Lee, I can assure you.

“We have got to remember that he is three weeks behind ourselves in fitness and with a bit of work, a bit of patience, give him a little bit of time, he will be a big player for Norwich City and in this league.”

Worthington has made allowances for the fact that Croft is playing catch-up as far as training is concerned.

“For a lad so far behind he has done well in his own right,” he said. “To do that in between we are managing him in the right way to make sure he is ready for the game. Between doing bits and bobs in training, maybe not as much as others, making sure he is getting his rest and getting the proper food in him.”

Croft played 56 minutes at Leeds last weekend and made way for Paul McVeigh before the end against Preston in midweek, and Worthington will again refuse to take any chances with his latest acquisition against Luton.

“It might be 75, could be 80 could be 90, the last thing we want is to cause an injury to him which puts him back and throws us out,” he said.

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