Monday, February 4, 2013
Grant Holt admitted it has been a little more lonely up front for Norwich City this term than his previous campaigns in yellow.
But when the sole aim for the Canaries is remaining a Premier League club come the summer, the City skipper is more than willing to turn in a bit of personal glory for the club’s greater good.
And for that very reason, Saturday’s draw at Queens Park Rangers should be a pleasing one – leaving with Norwich 14th, seven points clear of the bottom three and only two from Stoke in 10th.
“I think it does feel like a very useful point,” said Holt. “They are a team that the last few weeks have got a lot to play for, they’ve bought a few different players and spent a bit on Thursday.
“But we know what we had to do. We came with a plan of moving them and we were unlucky with a couple of chances, and to be fair the draw was probably a fair result.”
Key to that were two penalty incidents – Tal Ben Haim’s late push on debutant Luciano Becchio, which Holt admitted he did not see – and Jamie Mackie’s second-half tumble.
Fortunately City goalkeeper Mark Bunn maintained his 100pc success rate when facing penalties in a City shirt to save Adel Taarabt’s spot kick, and in turn make amends for his trip and Javier Garrido’s poor back pass.
For Holt, it was due reward for Bunn’s efforts since he filled John Ruddy’s gloves in November.
“It could be massive save, especially for us,” said Holt. “It was a big moment. At that time on the clock we had a bit of momentum and we were a bit disappointed with how we conceded it, but that’s football and Bunny has done brilliantly.
“He has had his critics over the last few weeks and I think he has stood up to that, and his two performances this week have been unbelievable.
“It is never easy to come in sitting behind John, all of a sudden John gets injured and it is a bit different with goalkeepers because you don’t really get a go unless you’re starting.
“So he has been fantastic in training, it’s been good what he has been doing and although at first it is hard to come in with what John has done, I think he has been fantastic the last few weeks.”
Holt feels he is finally getting back to his sharpest following his hamstring issues over the festive period – and Chris Hughton’s side are doing likewise.
“We just stripped it back,” said Holt. “We looked at a few videos and realised what we did in the early part of the season. We’ve had a few changes in between, a few knocks and injuries, and it is never easy.
“But in the last few games we have gone back to what we do best, which is working, pressing and working as a team, and we’re certainly getting the rewards at the moment.”
Holt added: “You have got to get used to doing the job the manager and teams asks of you. It’s a lot more isolated than I would want but you get on with it. I can only do my best for the team and as long as the lads behind me are looking at it and appreciating what I do, then that’s fine by me.”
Rangers’ plight deepened over the weekend as teams around them picked up points – and although the number of points likely to be needed this season is expected to be lower than the usual, City target remains adding four wins to their current points tally of 28.
“I think when teams are around you in that so-called group of 10, you have at least got to take something off them,” said Holt.
“We know what we want to do and we are not worrying about the bottom three. We are just working on the target of getting to 40 points as quickly as we can like we did last year. That is all we look at. We don’t look at who has done what.
“We go into every game and try to get to 40 points and hopefully we will do that sooner rather than later.”