Drury ready to commit to Canaries

Canaries skipper Adam Drury is ready to commit himself to Norwich City after being convinced by manager Peter Grant that the club is heading in the right direction.


Canaries skipper Adam Drury is ready to commit himself to Norwich City after being convinced by manager Peter Grant that the club is heading in the right direction.

Drury's contract is up in the summer, with the club holding a one-year option, but the left-back confirmed yesterday that he would be staying - and that the only real sticking points had been clarification of the club's ambitions.

“It is still on-going, but hopefully something should be sorted out in the very near future,” said Drury. “The club have said they want me to stay and I want to stay.

“I love my football here, I love my life here and I think the club has a great chance of doing something next year. If I didn't honestly believe that then it would be different.”

Drury skippered the Canaries to the First Division crown in 2004 and his belief that Grant is preparing a side to make the Canaries a Championship force again has proved a major factor in his decision to stay in Norfolk.

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The 28-year-old was linked with a move to promotion-chasing Derby in the January transfer window and admitted he had had opportunities to move on.

“I have had chances, in the window if I had really wanted to move I could have,” he added. “I could have kicked up a fuss and basically forced my way out, like players can do, but it has never been in my interests.

“The things I need to get sorted weren't issues really, they were matters alongside, not actually in, my contract. I don't want to sign if the club is not going to be challenging. Any footballer wants to be part of something where they think they are going forward.

“I didn't want to sign and then think, 'hang on a minute, we're selling all the players or getting rid of all the players and no one is coming in, that's not right'.

“I wanted to make sure - and through talking to the gaffer you can see he wants to win things. That is a big part of it for me, I want to be part of a side that is going to be challenging. I don't want to sign a contract and just be happy to be finishing mid-table every year or, like this season, where with eight weeks to go you get a few points to stay up and then that's it, you've got nothing to play for.”

Drury's confidence comes from the players City have got, the new faces that will inevitably join the summer - and the young players who are being given a chance to prove their value.

“Without the injuries maybe they wouldn't have got the chance so, in a funny sort of way, although the season hasn't been great, maybe the injuries have given the youngsters the chance,” he said. “I think the last few games have proved how good they are.

“Obviously it is not great putting youngsters into a struggling side, or an indifferent side like we have been, because you want to bring youngsters in when the team is doing well because it is a lot easier.

“But they have come in and have been fantastic, and obviously it shows we have a bit more strength in depth. I think the gaffer will still bring players in over the summer, which he said he wants to do and everyone knows he is going to do, but it is good to know we have youngsters in there who are good enough to play.”

Norwich play their final home game of the season on Saturday when Southampton come to town, and Drury is hoping to provide the fans with a fitting thankyou for their support.

“They have stuck with us all season, every game is a sell-out, which is unbelievable, especially with the season we have had,” he said. “We have to go out and win these last two games and especially with it being our last home game hopefully we can get a good result.”

(.) Drury and team-mate Dickson Etuhu took part in a question-and-answer session at a youth forum at Carrow Road yesterday, organised by football anti-racism group Kick It Out and attended by more than 100 youngsters from local schools.

Asked whether he had experienced racism in the game, Etuhu said: “I haven't experienced it but I have got friends that have.”

His friend and former Manchester City team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips was one of several black England players to be racially abused by Spanish fans at a match in Madrid in 2004.

“He is very strong-minded and can deal with things like that. He told me it felt bad but he didn't want to give in to it and it made him want to work harder. He didn't want to let them win,” said Etuhu.