Ex-Sunderland defender Cuellar inspired by fresh start at Norwich

Carlos Cuellar.
Carlos Cuellar.
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FORMER Sunderland centre-back Carlos Cuellar is delighted to be back in football – after signing a one-year contract to join Championship club Norwich City.

The Spaniard was freed by the Black Cats after two years on Wearside at the end of last season but has been snapped up by Carrow Road manager boss Neil Adams to help the Canaries’ push for an instant return to the Premier League.

Cuellar, 32, said: “I’m so happy and so proud to join Norwich City. They’ve given me the opportunity to come here and I want to pay them back with performances on the pitch.

“It is a big club, but it is looking to get bigger and stronger and to move forward. I see the same mentality that I have of trying to improve all the time, so I think we’ll go hand in hand.

“I got the opportunity to see the Blackburn game live and the players did so well and played good football, scoring good goals so hopefully we can carry that on this season.”

Cuellar faces a potential derby debut, with Norwich away to Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Adams said of the ex-Aston Villa and Rangers defender: “Carlos brings bags of experience. He can play as a centre-back and a right-back, and we’re brought him here to strengthen the options we have in defence. He’s a top quality player, so we welcome him into the squad and it will be great to have him available.”

Cuellar became Norwich’s fourth summer signing, following Kyle Lafferty, Lewis Grabban and Gary O’Neil. A fifth followed last night, with ex-Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome signing a three-year deal after leaving Stoke for an undisclosed fee.

Meanwhile, former Sunderland defender Michael Turner, 30, has penned a two-year contract extension, with an option for 12 further months. Boss Adams said: “Michael has been outstanding since I came into the job.”

H Today could prove a pivotal day for the future of Hartlepool United, boss Colin Cooper and star striker Luke James.

Cooper will sit down with his want-away star who last night handed in a second written transfer request after having the first turned down earlier this week.

James has already been the subject of an unsuccessful bid from Peterborough – believed to be close to £1million – as they look to tempt last season’s top scorer away from Victoria Park.

The chat with James is likely to be the most important meeting the Pools manager has ever held since taking the reins last summer.

Can he convince James that his short-term future lies with Pools, that the striker would be best off staying until at least the end of the season to further his development?

It would cause Pools a lot of turmoil if they did have to replace their star striker with just days left of the transfer market.