Norwich spending gamble ruled out

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The Independent Online

Nigel Worthington has said Norwich City will not "do a Leeds" and risk the club's long-term financial stability by taking a gamble on players they cannot afford in effort to stay in the Premiership

Nigel Worthington has said Norwich City will not "do a Leeds" and risk the club's long-term financial stability by taking a gamble on players they cannot afford in effort to stay in the Premiership

The Canaries picked up just one point from their four-match festive schedule, and other results meant they have slipped back into the bottom three of the Premiership. However, the Norwich manager insists the club are not about to break the bank and gamble on a short-term fix which may not pay off in the long run.

When asked whether it would be worth taking a chance and spending big, Worthington replied: "And do a Leeds? Finish up in the First Division, and financially crippled? That is not the way we work at this football club. We will not do that. We will work with the resources we have got. If there is quality there, we can afford it and that will help us, then we will do it."

Worthington effectively ruled out any bid for the likes of Crewe's Dean Ashton or Ipswich's Darren Bent, two of the top strikers in the Championship. "People like Ashton and Bent I greatly admire and would love to bring to this football club," Worthington added.

"They are big money, and the January sales, as far as I am concerned, look set to be an expensive time. We have not got the resources to throw money at them. We've made enquiries, I think Spurs have been knocked back at £2m [for Ashton]. We have done our homework and got some answers - they are out of our range."

Worthington - who could now turn his attentions to the out-of-favour West Bromwich Albion striker, Rob Hulse - added: "We have got to look to see what the next best thing is which is possible to improve us just that little bit."

Despite their lowly position, Worthington believes last season's First Division champions have acquitted themselves well back in the top flight.

On several occasions, the Canaries have not enjoyed the rub of the green during dominant spells, and against Liverpool on Monday could have won a penalty when Darren Huckerby's cross struck Jamie Carragher on the arm.

"We have given all clubs a good run for their money and are still looking for results," Worthington said. "Against Liverpool, we have gone right until the last whistle, and we will carry on doing that until the end of the season."

Norwich's injury list lengthened, with the striker Leon McKenzie now doubtful for the trip to West Ham in the FA Cup after tweaking a hamstring.

The midfielder Mattias Jonson needed stitches in a gash above his eye following a clash of heads with John Arne Riise, and David Bentley was ruled out after his fifth booking. It meant another run-out for the young forwards Ryan Jarvis and Danny Crow.

The England Under-19 international Jarvis opened his Premiership account after coming on as substitute, collecting a pass from Jonson on his right boot before rifling the ball past Jerzy Dudek from 18 yards with his left.

"To score against Liverpool on my home Premiership debut means a lot to me," Jarvis said. "I believe in my ability and am sure I can do well on the pitch."

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