By Jason McKeown
Veteran left back Adam Drury has signed for Bradford City on a month’s loan from neighbours Leeds United, solving the hole left by James Meredith’s long-term injury.
Drury, 35-years-old, made his name at Norwich City after spending 11 years at Carrow Road. He captained the club to promotion to the Premier League in 2004, and has been played a major role in their up and down adventures ever since – playing a Premier League match against Tottenham as recently as December 2011.
After being released by Norwich in the summer of 2012, Drury was signed by Leeds boss Neil Warnock but has seen his opportunities limited due to injuries and the form of left back rivals Danny Pugh and £15k-per-week Stephen Warnock. He was made available for a free transfer in August 2013. My trusted Leeds-supporting source tells me that Drury has “been unluckly and has looked solid when he has played”.
Drury may be placed straight into the team to face Brentford tomorrow. Although no doubt rusty fitness-wise, his experience and pedigree suggests he could prove an astute signing by Parkinson. There has been a lot of debate about the left back slot and whether the manager has been wrong not to sign a replacement for the crocked Meredith sooner, but he has always made it clear that he wanted to bring in the right player not just someone for the sake of it. The recent horrible history of underwhelming loan signings – made by previous managers and Parkinson – makes that seem a commendable strategy. Why bring someone in not up to the job?
In the meantime, Matthew Bates and Carl McHugh have let no one down filling in the role, and whatever the recent defensive failings they are no more or no less the fault of whoever has lined up at left back.
Drury takes the number six shirt and will be with City until at least the visit of Oldham on April 5.