Dion granted a City future?
CHRIS LAKEY Veteran striker Dion Dublin may have a role to play at Carrow Road next season - possibly helping shape the stars of the future for manager Peter Grant.
Veteran striker Dion Dublin may have a role to play at Carrow Road next season - possibly helping shape the stars of the future for manager Peter Grant.
The 37-year-old's third goal of the season against Queens Park Rangers was enough to give City their first win in six games, but it was his all-round performance which had the crowd chanting his name at the final whistle.
Dublin was signed in September by Grant's predecessor Nigel Worthington, on a contract to the end of the season.
However, Grant - who worked with 40-year-old Teddy Sheringham at West Ham - admitted he would be happy to see Dublin back at Norwich next season.
“I would love him to be here next year,” he said. “I think it is important not just to be part of the group, but with the younger boys at Colney. I am trying to build something and having someone like Dion to talk to the younger boys at the training ground is massive for me as well. As a manager it is fantastic if you have these older pros and I am sure he can help us on that road when he is speaking to younger boys who sometimes don't want to talk to the coaching staff because they think then it becomes a problem for them - then they can go to somebody like Dion. He is a fantastic role model for them.”
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Dublin's 69th-minute goal came courtesy of an assist from Robert Earnshaw as City found their feet after the disappointing Boxing Day draw with Southend.
“He could have had another one - Jurgen (Colin) should have squared the ball to him before when he was in the same position,” said Grant.
“He could have had a couple of goals, but his all-round play was very good. He was a handful for them all day. There are some players who run blind and you know where he is going to knock the ball and we have to be more aware of that.
“Sometimes we just watch him, he is such a clever player and such an intelligent player. He is great to have about the group, he is fantastic to have about the training ground because the younger boys can see what is possible with your career if you look after your body well.
“He is getting his just rewards, even at the age of 37. His positional play is excellent as well.
“He has been terrific, he is a wonderful professional who looks after himself very, very well. The rewards are massive in this game if you do it properly and I think the sacrifices are minimal. You are a long time not being footballers and there is plenty of time to enjoy yourself then, so when you have got the opportunity make the most of it and he is a fantastic example.
“Dion is right up there with Teddy and it is because they look after themselves so well, want to train every day want to play every day.
“All that package - you don't get many of them nowadays. It is just guys who want to get out of the game as quickly as they possibly can once they have made a few bob. This guy wants to play as long as he possibly can and that is fantastic credit to him.”