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McAuley and Wickham Could Return as Norris Set to Play Last Town Match
McAuley and Wickham Could Return as Norris Set to Play Last Town Match
Thursday, 5th May 2011 10:32

Town boss Paul Jewell could have Gareth McAuley and Connor Wickham back in his side when the Blues travel to Leicester for their final game of the season on Saturday (KO 12.45pm). The match looks set to be Blues captain David Norris’s last for Town with the midfielder understood to have decided to leave the club in the summer when his contract is up.

Jewell says one-time Leicester man McAuley and Wickham are closing in on returns after their groin and rib problems: “Gareth McAuley is going to train this morning and we’ll see how Connor is, he may train.

"We had a few injuries last week and it showed that when we get a few injuries to key players, we are stretched.

“As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not just a game of 11, it’s about 21 or 22 players who can come in and not weaken the team.”

While Jewell says no developments are likely on the contract situations involving McAuley and skipper David Norris until next week, Norris is believed to have decided to leave the Blues on a free Bosman transfer in the summer having failed to agree new terms at Portman Road.

The midfielder, Town’s Players’ Player of the Year this season, is understood to have three or four clubs chasing him with Wigan Athletic now his most reported destination, despite Portsmouth previously having been seen as the favourites for his signature. Nottingham Forest and Leeds have also long been mentioned in connection with the 30-year-old.

Norris turned down a new deal with the Blues before Christmas and negotiations have continued more recently with the Peterborough-born player wanting a three-year contract rather than the two additional seasons being offered by Town.

McAuley may also be involved in his last match for the club with Rangers strongly tipped to sign the Northern Irishman in the summer.

Elsewhere, Sunderland have again been linked with Town striker Connor Wickham, who was reported to be a Newcastle target yesterday.

Photo: Action Images

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JimmyJazz added 10:46 - May 5
It's one thing to be linked with Wickham but another is the fee they are prepared to pay. Unless Wickham has a stunning U-21 championship I don't see anyone offering over 10 million for a striker who scored 8 goals in 40 appearances for a Championship team

Smithy added 10:47 - May 5
Good, really do think he is a limited footballer, who has been holding us back. For the money hes on I believe we can get a better player in despite having to maybe pay a fee. Another Matty Holland from a lower league will do nicely!

howdonblue added 10:51 - May 5
norris is an average player at best..............
same as mcauley..........
Our football club will survive without both of them!!!!!!!!!!!
can anyone remember an i was there moment with either of them!!!!!!!!!!
I for one cannot.................

Big_Foot_Blue added 10:55 - May 5
So our players player of the season, who is our top goalscorer from midfield, had the best season of his career, runs everywhere and puts in effort where others dont and is being linked to top championship and premierleague sides is being allowed to leave for nothing not because of wage demands but because we wouldnt give him one more year?!?!?!

This is insane! All the people who slag him off are mental, without him we would have been relegated simple! He is ten times the player the Grant Leadbitter ever shows us and all the argument about use his wages to sign Bullard are bull! There is a wage structure and we wont break it for anyone so we wont offer Bullard more than about £20,000 per week with or without Norris.

All we have just done is lost one of our best players and inspirational captain for nothing because a stubborn chief exceutive wouldnt offer him one more year... Disgraceful

itfc1981 added 10:55 - May 5
JimmyJazz I think Rooney didnt bang in many in his early years, plus Wickham has played outwide in a god awful team.

Behind_Enemy_Lines added 11:03 - May 5
Wouldn't play any of them until they signed a new contract. Tell them cook off now !!!!!

mugsykets added 11:05 - May 5
If Norris doesn't want to play for the Town, why is he being selected ~ yet alone as captain? Now there's nothing to play for as regards play-offs or relegation, I don't understand why he's being picked. Surely we only want lads who want to play for the club in the side not blokes who are looking around for a better offer. I hate to say it but the same applies to McAuley.

Legend added 11:07 - May 5
Well said Big Foot Blue!

DietmarVanNostrilBoy added 11:08 - May 5
So we have a vacancy for another ineffective, poor passing central midfielder that is only good to score goals. For the sake of continuity - Paul Mason, Tommy Miller, David Norris I really think we should get one for next season!

slippery added 11:19 - May 5
Neither did andy Carroll at this level and he went for £35m

Sindre94 added 11:28 - May 5
good luck in ur future chuck

blue_em_away added 11:39 - May 5
Sorry but Norris wont be missed.

Chuck.... if you go somewhere else you have been badly advised

Suffolk_n_Proud added 11:40 - May 5
Well said big_foot_blue.

Good luck chuck wherever you go xxx

WoodfordTim added 11:45 - May 5
Just a shame that we are losing GM & DN on frees. Two players who are wanted by other clubs, so they must be pretty good? !!! Presumably Town will now have to spend money on replacements. Money from the budget that could have been used on other possible targets. Wonder if the money & terms they wanted will come out at less than the cost of their replacements?

MVBlue added 11:45 - May 5
Whats the general consensus with Norris?
With the overall averageness of the club, has he put in a good shift but been let down, or has he gone as far as he can go?

thechangingman added 11:56 - May 5
I think it's telling that whilst most fans aren't exactly over-excited by Norris and don't seem to be mourning his departure - the players themselves voted him as the best we've got.

Interesting, very interesting...

Who should we trust to judge a professional footballer's abilities?

Other professionals who train together and play matches as a team week in and week out or a bunch of armchair critics who at best probably couldn't get in most Sunday league teams?

Tricky eh?

mugsykets added 11:59 - May 5
IMO Norris would get 10/10 for effort ~ the bloke will run all day and his goals have been very useful this season but.... I get the impression that PJ wants to play a passing game, knocking the ball around, not just big hoof. This is where Norris' lack of skill and first touch gets exposed. Nothing against the bloke but he hasn't got a killer ball in him and his passing lets him down big time. Having said all that ~ by all accounts he's been offered a more than fair contract (age, experience etc) If he signed it I'd get right behind him as we should with anyone who wears the shirt. If he still doesn't sign then he should be left out of the side. When he moves on I'll say all the best, thanks for your efforts but I won't shed a tear. (He's never been a Muhren or a Wark or a Thijssen has he?)

naa added 12:02 - May 5
I think Norris is a very limited footballer, but you can't doubt his commitment or his goals this season. If one of Norris or Leadbitter had to go I must admit I'd rather it was Leadbitter as he offers very little to the team, despite being a better footballer than Norris. Sadly we don't have that choice.

As someone has said, losing Norris and MacAuley on a free is very bad business because we'd need to spend to replace them, thus wasting transfer money replacing players we already have. We already need three or four new players as it is, now it's 5 or 6. Jewell isn't going to be given massive money, so several of these signings will be lower league or foreign players. I like that that's where we're looking but you won't get 100% success rate when trying to bring players up a level or two.

Surco72 added 12:07 - May 5
I think Norris will be a miss for us energy ,commitment and this season added goals but if he wants to go then goodbye and thanks but he should not be selected for a meaningless game and especially as captain ,he has turned his back on us lets do the same and give Hyam or Peters a game .Why should he have the chance to get his appearance fee or goal bonus to have more money off us ,bye bye chuck enjoy the north

KindofBlue added 12:14 - May 5
More concerned to be losing McAulay than Norris tbh. Think he may well be harder to replace.

RetroBlue added 12:14 - May 5
So Norris is voted POTY by his fellow players.

This says a lot as these players have virtually underachieved for this Club for several seasons now, and they vote for who they feel is the "best". When in truth this "best" player, whilst giving 100% effort and constantly runs around the park , is devoid of technical skill, vision, an ability to create anithing form midfield!

Ther ARE better midfielders out there, and they wont be as injury prone, or banned so often.

Adam Drury will come into his own next season, and he cost how much !!

JimmyJazz added 12:14 - May 5
itfc1981 - yes, Rooney wasn't banging in the goals in his early days but he was making a positive contribution in the Prem
Slippery - don't agree. Carroll scored 19 goals in 42 games for Newcastle last season and then a further 11 in 23 games for them in the prem this season
My main point is that I don't see anyone bidding over 10 million for Wickham this summer. So hopefully we won't accept any bids under that figure

Vic added 12:16 - May 5
Big foot blue - agree with much of what you say; but why oh why blame Clegg? Do you honestly think that if Jewell said he really wanted him to stay that the contract wouldn't be amended to make it happen? It's not Clegg's fault - PJ clearly isn't convinced by him. Maybe he sees what others see - that over all Leadbitter is the better player and with Norris gone we should be able to get someone in who compliments him better and thus strengthens the team.

oleoleoleabi added 12:19 - May 5
If norris has decided he does not want to stay, he should not get to play on saturday. In the end if i wanted to stay he would have signed a while ago, so he clearly doesn't therefore he shouldnt get to play for a club he no longer wants to play for. Play peters instead a player who wants to play for the club!
As for Mcaulay sign or leave! Stop dragging it out and saying would like to stay but doing nothing about it, follow delaneys attitude.

Garv added 12:23 - May 5
If he wanted to stay, he would.

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