Friday, October 5, 2012
Norwich City skipper Grant Holt has branded as “ridiculous” the idea that he has lost his hunger for playing and scoring goals in the Premier League.
The triple player of the year winner got off the mark for this season when he scored in the 5-2 home defeat by Liverpool last Saturday.
Holt, who signed a new three-year deal with the Canaries in the summer after six weeks in dispute with the club, has not made manager Chris Hughton’s starting line-up in the last two league matches, but came off the bench to score against the Reds.
And as City prepare to face leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow (3pm), Holt reacted facetiously when asked if he still had the same hunger and desire as last season, a question some fans have been asking.
“No, no, I’ve given up this year. I’ve decided to bin it off,” he said. “I signed my three-year deal and thought I’d just leave it this year, sit back and have a few cans and a few cigarettes and chill with the kids.”
Then he added: “It’s a ridiculous question. No I haven’t (lost my hunger).
“Why wouldn’t you have it?”
Holt’s goal against Liverpool was his 71st for the Canaries, putting him seventh in the club’s all-time goalscoring list, just one behind sixth-placed Ralph Hunt.
He admitted it was disappointing not to have started every game under the new boss, but accepted it as part of the game.
“There’s always frustration that you don’t start but you’ve just got to keep going,” he said. “Last season there were times that I didn’t play under Paul Lambert, so you just have to keep going.
“At the moment the manager has been playing me a little bit more in behind Simeon Jackson, and if he wants you to do a job you’ve got to do it.
“But the other week I was up front by myself. You’ve just got to get on with it and do whatever he wants you to do and try to do your best for the team and the club.”
Holt argued that City’s lack of goals, with just four in six league games, was no reflection on the strikers.
“We haven’t had that many chances as forwards,” he said. “If they fall to us we’ll put them in. If they don’t then you can’t put them away.
“It’s a funny thing, you always hear the forwards aren’t scoring goals but I could probably count on my hand how many clear chances we’ve had in the last five games so I think it’s everybody else’s turn to chip in with a few more.
“We haven’t done too badly. Simeon’s got one, I’ve got one and Steve Morison’s got one now so we’ve done all right in our first six games.”
Holt scored his first goal last season in the 3-1 defeat at Chelsea and believes the leaders, who have conceded two goals or more four times already this season, are not watertight in defence.
He said: “I wouldn’t say they’re shipping goals but they’re giving goals away. I’ve seen a few where they’ve not had to work too hard for them so we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. You have to keep plugging away, be clever.
“We know they’re going to have long spells with the ball and try and move it and keep it and it’s up to us to get into shape and counter-attack when we get the opportunity, be clinical.
“You have to be quick, hit them quickly before they regroup and I’ve seen a couple of goals against them where they’ve been caught on the break so we’ll be looking to try to do that.”
Holt, tipped for England honours when he scored 15 Premier League goals last season, admitted he had lost any hope of an international cap under Roy Hodgson.
“No, I’ve given up on that list. I don’t think I’ll ever be on that now, to be honest,” he said. “When those two friendlies came up and I wasn’t included, it was ridiculous, to be honest.
“Roy’s come in now and he’s picking his players.”