Worthy impressed with Leon's reaction
Nigel Worthington has been impressed with Leon McKenzie's reaction to having his transfer request turned down - and now wants to see more of the same from his want-away striker.
Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington has been impressed with Leon McKenzie's reaction to having his transfer request turned down - and now wants to see more of the same from his want-away striker.
McKenzie decided to ask for a move earlier in the week after being restricted to a bit-part role from the bench in City's opening three games, and was promptly told that he would be going nowhere.
The 28-year-old frontman has since spoken of his frustration at being a reserve, and his strong desire for a fresh challenge at another club. But on the training ground he has been fully committed to the cause, much to the delight of the man who is determined to keep him at Carrow Road.
Worthington insists McKenzie will be handed a chance to impress soon if he keeps his head down and works hard, and has urged him to accept the simple fact that a manager can never keep every member of his squad happy when he can only name 11 players in his starting line-up.
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“If managers and football clubs could sign just 11 players and no-one ever got injured, tired or lost form then I am sure most of them would do just that,” he said. “But because that is never the case you need a squad of players. When you see big clubs using a rotation system I think that says a lot as to where the game is at these days. It shows how intense the game is.
“Everyone needs a squad. Outside the 11 you are always going to get frustration but that's part of the game. You have also got to recognise where you are at - at a good club where you are well looked after, wanted, at a club that is looking to move forward.
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“When the opportunity arises - and it will at some stage - he has got to be ready to grab the shirt, and make sure he keeps it.
“Leon came to me on Monday and said he would be handing in a transfer request. That has since been delivered and the message 'not for sale' was delivered back to him. He has trained very well ever since, end of story.
“Players sign contracts and they should honour those contracts until such time as things change for both parties. I think that has got to become part of the game again. There are different groups that can cause problems in that scenario.”
Worthington clearly doesn't want to lose a striker of McKenzie's calibre. But he is a realist and knows he is likely to be getting some calls on the subject now that news of the player's transfer request is public knowledge. In an ideal world he would like to turn down any offer that came in - but each and every professional footballer has his price, and if that figure was on the table then the club would have to consider their options.
“It's out in the open and I am sure there will be interest, even though his request has been turned down,” said the City boss. “I don't want to sell the player, but I know every player has got his price. Should we get a very generous offer from another club then I am sure it will be considered, like it would for anyone else.”