Leon’s pledge to City
CHRIS LAKEY Unsettled Canaries striker Leon McKenzie has vowed to let no one down when he resumes first team duties in tonight's Carling Cup tie at Torquay.
Unsettled Canaries striker Leon McKenzie has vowed to let no one down when he resumes first team duties in tonight's Carling Cup tie at Torquay.
McKenzie is in line for a start just nine days after having a transfer requested thrown out by City boss Nigel Worthington. Since then City have rejected two bids from Coventry and both player and manager have been at odds over the circumstances of McKenzie's absence from the travelling party for Saturday's match at Derby.
However, McKenzie is still a part of Worthington's plans - at least until the right bid comes along - and looks likely to start up front tonight.
"Leon McKenzie will go and do what he does, simple as that," said McKenzie yesterday. "At the end of the day I am still here as a Norwich City player. I will train like I train, play how I play. I am not going to change in that respect.
"There won't be a case of me going out there with an attitude of not wanting to play for Norwich City. As long as I am still here I will do my utmost to perform. It's as simple as that."
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McKenzie cited lack of first team starts and the fact that he is in the last year of his contract as the reasons for his surprise transfer request - but insists that he remains loyal to the cause.
"I have my reasons for the decisions I have made," he said. "I have always wanted to stay at Norwich City - it is not about the club or not wanting to play, it is personal reasons for my career. That's the only reason choices were made."
But the request clearly didn't sit well with Worthington, who revealed after the goalless draw at Derby that McKenzie had asked to be left behind. The player subsequently claimed he was told not to train on Friday and then omitted from the travelling party.
"There was a big misunderstanding with me and my gaffer," he explained. "I did what I stood by and thought that was right, he said something he thought was right and it went a sort of different way. That happens sometimes."
However, player and manager appear not quite to have kissed and made up and with Coventry rumoured to be ready to raise their bid for a third time, McKenzie may well get his wish.
"What will be, will be," he said. "It is a situation where even if there was interest it is irrelevant because until I get told differently I am still a Norwich City player. Such is life, that's football, I just want to get my head down."
Worthington said: "The best thing on that situation is to go and play and train with freedom - just go and use it as an exercise and enjoy it, simple as that and that's what he'll do."