Huckerby to the rescue
CHRIS LAKEY Darren Huckerby is ready to ride to the rescue and provide the goals which will steer the Canaries away from the relegation zone.
Darren Huckerby is ready to ride to the rescue and provide the goals which will steer the Canaries away from the relegation zone.
City's flying front-man made it four in his last five games with the winner in Saturday's vital 2-1 home win over Leeds.
And in the absence of 17-goal Robert Earnshaw for the rest of the season, the responsibility now looks to be on fans' favourite Huckerby to get the goals for a side which might just have turned a corner under manager Peter Grant.
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The 30-year-old was deployed in his usual wide left position and then in a more central role as City ended a run of three consecutive defeats.
And while Huckerby and Grant haven't always seen eye to eye since the new manager came in last October, the player who has promised to end his career at Carrow Road is ready to answer the call for a side now six points clear of the relegation zone.
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“I will play wherever the manager wants me to play,” he said. “If he wants me to go up front I will go up front. If he wants me to play as one of the three up front I will.
“It doesn't really bother me. As long as my performances are up to a certain level and the team are playing well I'm not bothered.
As for his relationship with Grant, Huckerby said: “I won't say we have had our differences, but he expects a lot from me and I expect a lot from myself. I try my best and hopefully if the team plays well we can win games.”
Huckerby scored the winner 12 minutes from time - and could have added another in injury time - after Dion Dublin had equalised after Leeds had taken a surprise half-time lead.
“There were two near the end I was unlucky with, but we were just after the win to be honest,” said Huckerby, who admitted there were shades of Tuesday's home defeat by Wolves.
“It was the same thing again: we controlled the game for the first 25 minutes, they go in our half once and we're1-0 down.
“It's difficult because then we are chasing the game, but I thought we showed a lot of character. We created a good few chances and I thought we were the better team all the way through and I thought it was deserved today.”
Dublin, back at centre-half after missing the Wolves game through injury, was on target for the third time in his last four outings.
“It was a good finish - I've seen him do it many times,” said Huckerby. “I said to him today it was the old one-two combination again.”
Victory came after three straight defeats and prevented City going to within three points of the drop zone.
However, February is no easy month, with trips to Luton and Preston and home games against leaders Derby and Coventry.
“I wouldn't say it has taken the pressure off, but I think especially after the game in the week, from our performances we deserved something out of both games. We should have had six points,” he added. “But it is better to be playing well and winning games than playing well and not getting anything, so we are happy to win again.”