Tierney explains Canaries U-turn

A LOT can change in 12 months – and Marc Tierney hopes Colchester United fans will understand his Norwich City U-turn.

The 25-year-old left-back signed for the Canaries on a two-and-a-half-year deal yesterday just under 12 months after telling the EADT that ‘never in a million years’ would he play for the Norfolk club.

With Tierney having rejected a new deal at Colchester and due to be out-of-contract in the summer, chairman Robbie Cowling decided that a transfer fee of �150,000 with the potential to rise to �200,000 was too good to turn down after rebuffing four lower offers.

Speaking after his first training session with his new club yesterday morning, Tierney explained what had changed since his categorical denial of a possible switch to Norwich back in January 2010.

He said: “The rumours (about a move to Norwich) were way wide of the mark then as both clubs were going for promotion and the chairman (Robbie Cowling) had just said he wouldn’t be doing any business with Norwich (due to the ill-feeling over manager Paul Lambert’s switch between clubs).

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“So when I was asked by people if I was going to Norwich at that time I therefore felt it was right to say it wasn’t going to happen because otherwise it might have distracted the rest of the team.

“I meant it when I said I was going to stay and I think that’s proven by the fact I stayed for another 12 months after that speculation.

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“Things have changed since then though and when David Fox made the move (from Colchester to Norwich) in the summer it showed that the clubs were getting on better and were prepared to trade again.”

The father of two, who became a cult hero amongst the U’s faithful with his tough-tackling displays and statement that he was ‘a fan in a shirt’, continued: “I hope the Colchester fans can see that I always gave my all for the club – there’s no way I could have faked that desire. I’ll always look out for their results and the club will always be in my mind.

“I just hope the fans don’t begrudge me this move because it is such a fantastic opportunity to play at a higher level and in front of 25,000 supporters. As well as I think Colchester will do under John Ward there is no guarantee that they will get promoted so I simply couldn’t turn this chance down.”

Tierney links back up with manager Paul Lambert – the man who signed him for the U’s – and goes straight into the Norwich squad for their visit of fellow Championship high-fliers Cardiff City tomorrow.

He is unlikely to feature though as he continues to recover from the virus which kept him out of Colchester’s last two matches.

“I’m glad Colchester have got a good deal, but my one big regret is that I haven’t been able to say a proper goodbye,” said the Manchester-born defender, who made 79 appearances for the U’s over two-and-a-half seasons.

“I definitely hope to come back to Colchester some day, whether that be as a home player again or as an opponent.”

Colchester United owner and chairman Cowling said last season that he wouldn’t do business with Norwich again following the bitter fall-out after Lambert’s switch from the U’s to the Canaries. But now both David Fox and Marc Tierney have now made the move from Essex to Norfolk.

“I’m never going to forget what happened (with Lambert) and I still don’t trust them (Norwich) at all, but I want the best for Colchester United and I wasn’t going to cut my nose off to spite my face,” said Cowling.

“Sometimes it can work out for everybody; the player gets a good move, the buying club gets a good player and the selling club gets good money for them.”

– For full preview of tonight’s League One match between Colchester United and AFC Bournemouth, see today’s EADT.

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