Worthy's gag on player interviews

CHRIS WISE Nigel Worthington has slapped a gagging order on his players as speculation linking Dean Ashton and Robert Green with a move away from Carrow Road continues to hot up.

CHRIS WISE

Nigel Worthington has slapped a gagging order on his players as speculation linking Dean Ashton and Robert Green with a move away from Carrow Road continues to hot up.

The Norwich City boss revealed yesterday that he was becoming more than a little tired of seeing his men having to field questions on the future of club's two prized assets - and had decided to introduce a blanket media ban to nip a perceived problem in the bud.

As a result Worthington expects the Canaries to be fully focussed on tomorrow's crucial Championship clash at Plymouth, something he regards as a good deal more important than the latest round of transfer rumour and speculation.

“The fact that the players are not available for interview came from me, because I know what you ladies and gentleman are like,” he told the media yesterday.

“You will be round all the players and you will have 25 different stories about Dean Ashton and Robert Green - and there will be nothing about Plymouth. Our focus is fully on Plymouth - so there will be no interviews today on camera or radio, or in the written press. It's not to help me - it's about the whole scenario.”

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Worthington was later persuaded to allow Jason Jarrett to give his thoughts about his swift return to Home Park after a successful loan spell in the south west - provided he wasn't asked to give opinions on the speculation linking Green with a £2m move to Portsmouth and Ashton with a £5m switch to West Ham.

“I am prepared to work with you - but if you let me down on one occasion then that would be the end of it,” he commented after granting the request.

But, as it turned out, the one possible interview of the day fell through, with the midfielder informing the various media outlets that he wasn't prepared to talk - despite being given the go-ahead by his boss. So the only quotes on tomorrow's big game - and the latest transfer gossip - came from the manager.

Worthington gave the impression that supporters wouldn't be deprived of their link with the City players for too long - but wouldn't be drawn on exactly how long the media ban would be in operation

“We'll get through this one, let things settle down and then go from there,” he said.

The manager's decision means fans will be deprived of their usual diet of player interviews on television, radio and - of course - the Eastern Daily Press in the lead up to the game. But Worthington still reckons they are kept a lot better informed than supporters at most other professional clubs - and clearly doesn't feel he has got anything to apologise about.

“Our supporters are very well informed on the situation,” he said when quizzed on the limited amount of information coming out of Carrow Road right now on the futures of Ashton and Green.

“I think the chief executive has already said on radio that for us to divulge all our business in public would not help us if we wanted to do business elsewhere.

“I certainly don't think there are many supporters who are better informed about what goes on at their club than those of Norwich City.”