Worthy: Leon had to go
CHRIS LAKEY Nigel Worthington says a desire to keep a happy dressing room ultimately forced his hand over the sale of unhappy striker Leon McKenzie. The Canaries boss had planned to let McKenzie go to Coventry only if he had been able to bring in another player, in this case David Cotterill from Bristol City.
Nigel Worthington says a desire to keep a happy dressing room ultimately forced his hand over the sale of unhappy striker Leon McKenzie.
The Canaries boss had planned to let McKenzie go to Coventry only if he had been able to bring in another player, in this case David Cotterill from Bristol City.
But as the door closed on Cotterill, McKenzie's position clearly became untenable, with an early evening phone call from the player the straw that broke the camel's back.
“It became clear after phone calls from Leon and his agent that he did not want to play for Norwich City again and did not want to come back to us from Coventry,” said Worthington.
“I do not want players here that do not want to play for us and I don't want a player who feels like that in the dressing room.
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“I've got a very good dressing room at the moment and I want to keep it that way. In the light of how the player felt, it was right to do the deal.
“Leon's got what he wants and it doesn't matter about what Norwich City think or I think. I felt very strongly that I wanted to keep him, the football club wanted to keep him, and we looked after him very well during his time here.
“He said he had to go, citing personal reasons, but he told me last night he didn't want to come back to the club and play for Norwich City. I don't think that's the right way to treat the manager, directors or supporters of a football club.”
Transfer deadline day ended with double disappointment, with Cotterill's £2m move to Carrow Road signed but not sealed and delivered, with Premiership Wigan's late intervention turning the Wales Under-21 striker attentions to the north west.
“Everybody at the football club from myself, the coaching staff, the chief executive, the club secretary, the directors and the majority shareholders couldn't have done anything more to make the Cotterill deal happen,” said Worthington. “Everybody worked together, pulled together and supported each other as we tried to make the deal happen. Unfortunately, Wigan came in with a late offer and the lad decided the attraction of Premiership football was too strong.”
“I have said all along that I would only want to bring players in who I felt would add to the squad - and David Cotterill was the player we really wanted. Unfortunately he has made the decision late in the day to go to Wigan.”
It leaves Worthington with a decidedly thin-looking squad, in terms of numbers and experience, but the manager does have the opportunity bring in players from the loan market, with City entitled to bring in players on short-term loans of up to three months from a point seven days after the window closes.
“We do have the option of loans and if we identify a player or players that we think will add to what we already have, then we will look into it,” said Worthington. “What I won't do is make a panic loan signing for the sake of it.”