Doherty will stay in defence
CHRIS LAKEY The search goes on for Nigel Worthington as the transfer window approaches its last week - but he won't be tempted to use Gary Doherty to solve his striker problem.
The search goes on for Nigel Worthington as the transfer window approaches its last week - but he won't be tempted to use Gary Doherty to solve his striker problem.
Worthington has yet to secure the services of a big striker after failing to land either of his top targets, Rob Hulse and Steve Howard.
But he yesterday rejected the suggestion that Doherty might be called on to play up front, just as he did when he first signed for City in 2004. Since then he has made one of the two central defensive roles his own, having made it clear that was his preferred position - and Worthington isn't prepared to consider mixing and matching again.
"No, I haven't, because I think as much as he is all right in an emergency I think it is unfair on the lad," said the City boss.
"He has clearly stated he wants to concentrate on being a centre-half. I think it is only fair on him, it is fair on us, that's his position so give him the best opportunity to perform in it.
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"Hopefully what he did last year and has done this season, to continue that, to get himself back in the Republic squad - I think he deserves that."
As well as a target man, Worthington is keen to bring in a left-sided defender to cover for and compete with Adam Drury, while he is also searching for a goalkeeper as, following the departure of Robert Green to West Ham, which left him with only untried teenager Joe Lewis as back-up to Paul Gallacher.
Had Simon Charlton and Darren Ward been retained in the summer, those particular problems may not have arisen, but Worthington said he had no regrets.
"Those decisions were made in the interests of Norwich City," he said. "Simon had two years here, was good value whilst he was here, experienced in the dressing room, good knowledge and when called upon gave his all.
"But Simon is 34/35, legs tend to get a bit slower as we all know, so that was the right time to move that one on.
"And as far as Darren Ward was concerned, Darren had a back problem, had an operation here and as much as he was a great pro and we would love to have had him here, none of us was sure the back problem wouldn't arise again so we didn't want to be in a position where we signed the player back on again and then his back goes again."