Hartson can be effective for us - Duffy

CHRIS LAKEY Jim Duffy has revealed some of the reasons why he made the loan acquisition of 32-year-old goal-scoring veteran John Hartson one of his first jobs after being appointed Norwich City caretaker manager.

CHRIS LAKEY

Jim Duffy has revealed some of the reasons why he made the loan acquisition of 32-year-old goal-scoring veteran John Hartson one of his first jobs after being appointed Norwich City caretaker manager.

Duffy told club liaison Bryan Gunn to “Get Hartson” soon after his appointment in the wake of Peter Grant's departure was confirmed.

In 15 years as a pro, Hartson has scored more than 200 goals - something City are desperately short of at the moment, having endured a drought which stretches back 555 minutes.

But Duffy says there's more to Hartson - who will don the 17 shirt - than goals.

“John is what he is, everybody knows that,” said Duffy, who, as a Scottish premier League manager had first hand experience of Hartson during his days at Celtic.

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“He is not a player who ever ran into the channels or ran all over the place, he is a guy who, if you give him the right type of service, will be very effective for us.

“If you don't then he will be ineffective, like any striker. As everyone knows, he has not played a lot of competitive football over the last period but he is totally enthusiastic. His enthusiasm was evident in the training and like everybody with enthusiasm it's infectious and we want that infectious enthusiasm within the team at this moment in time and he is bringing that and hopefully he can produce the goods on Saturday.

“There are a lot of options you look for to see how you can improve the team and in John's case I felt we needed someone who knew how to play that position.

“At the time Jamie Cureton was injured and I felt as if we didn't have a guy who was in and around the penalty box enough. The other strikers were good strikers, but maybe dropping off. To be fair to them they haven't had the best service - I think we would have struggled even with real top class strikers because we haven't given them enough service.

“But John is a guy who knows the game, knows how to play the game and is experienced. He brings people into play and not just on the pitch, but off the pitch - that was a big part of the reason I went for John Hartson because I know his influence in terms of his personality, in terms of speaking to players and using his experience on and off the pitch and I think we lacked that a little bit.

“We do have one or two like that, but you can't always rely on Dion and one or two to do that type of job. I thought it was important to bring someone in with that type of experience.”