Roeder's advice for Huckerby
CHRIS LAKEY Darren Huckerby has been told to leave the safety of the left flank and go ball hunting should he find himself on the fringe of the action.
Darren Huckerby has been told to leave the safety of the left flank and go ball hunting should he find himself on the fringe of the action.
City's wide man was a spectator at times in the second half at Stoke on Saturday.
And while Canaries boss Glenn Roeder has told his team-mates to ensure Huckerby's talents and pace aren't wasted, he also had a word of advice for his weekend goal scorer.
“He is a very experienced player, but he also needs to learn that when the ball is on the other side or the change of play is not happening quick enough to get him on the ball, he needs to come wandering inside,” said Roeder.
“I think we need to make more of the pace of Hucks. We need to get him in the game more. He wasn't in the game second half at all, nowhere near enough as he should be. I didn't think we recognised that enough, that Darren wasn't getting the ball.”
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Huckerby had been recalled, along with Lee Croft, to the City starting line-up, with Roeder changing from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3, the wide men supporting Dion Dublin down the middle.
It meant changing the team which had won the previous two games, but Roeder said he was comfortable with his decision, although he wants to see better use made of his pacey wide men.
“Whether it's Crofty or Chaddy (Lee Chadwick), but particularly Crofty he has excellent pace, we need to make better use of the grass in behind,” Roeder said. “I am talking about longer passes, not sliding balls in to feet all the time. If you are a feet, feet, feet team you are inviting the opposition on to you and eventually you're going to lose the ball. We want to pass the ball, but I also want passes that will go in behind on the grass to make use of the pace of Huckerby and Croft.
“We changed the formation on Saturday. I have to be clear - it is a positive formation when you have two out and out wingers - one striker, three in midfield to out-number them. Rusty (Darel Russell) had licence to bomb on and join Dion (Dublin).
“It's the way Chelsea won the Premiership two years running, with natural wingers and Didier Drogba through the middle. Okay, they are massive names, but the principle is the formation is an attacking formation, 4-3-3.
“It isn't if you play wide players in the front three who are naturally centre midfield players, that is a pretty negative 4-5-1 - come and break us down.
“But we tried to win the game and you just felt really in the second half I wanted to get a second striker on and revert to two banks of four and play 4-4-2. But I was happy with the way it worked in the first half, it worked very well, in fact that's how the goal came, from the formation we played, Dion just nicking it on and Hucks was away.”