Bluebirds clash brings some fond memories for Grant

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant, understandably, has mixed feelings about his previous encounters with Cardiff City. The Scot had been in his new job for precisely eight days the last time Cardiff came to Norwich.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant, understandably, has mixed feelings about his previous encounters with Cardiff City.

The Scot had been in his new job for precisely eight days the last time Cardiff came to Norwich.

Having succeeded the axed Nigel Worthington, Grant has presided over a surprise 1-0 win at Birmingham in his first match, before Dave Jones brought his then table-topping side to Carrow Road.

The bubble, many believed, would burst that afternoon: Cardiff had won nine of their opening dozen games and had already opened up a six-point gap at the top.

But by 4.45pm, it was the Cardiff bubble that had burst - they won only two of their next 15 games and finished midway down a Championship table many believed they would top. City didn't fare much better, a 1-0 defeat down at Cardiff contributing to their 16th place finish.

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“The first game up here was great,” he recalled. “A fantastic goal and I thought we played exceptionally well in the first half of that game. I thought we played some fantastic stuff and knocked it about well.

“It was always difficult because it came after the Birmingham game and it was your first home game and everyone is expecting something different. The players responded fantastically well, the support we got that day was phenomenal.

“Second period we went into our old shell again, scared to win.

“Then we went down to Cardiff and it was one of the poorest first-half displays I have seen. Yes, we did well in the second half, but the first half was really poor, so I have mixed memories of Cardiff.”

Grant isn't expecting any favours this time around.

“Cardiff are a really balanced side, they have been together for a long time now,” he said. “They have got that bit of consistency, they know each other's job.

“Dave has added one or two to it to progress his group. I think they are further along the road than we are in respect that the group has played together a lot longer. He has probably added one or two to it whereas we are bringing eight, nine or 10 in and I think that shows the difference. He has been a lot more consistent in his selection over the last, maybe, 12 to 18 months.

“They are always a difficult side because they try to play the game correctly, and now they have added some fantastic firepower to it.

“We will have to play very well - every time you play against Cardiff you know you are up for a game. It is very, very difficult -they proved that here last year.

“I am looking forward to the game because yet again you are playing against a top quality side, someone who is going to be having their eyes set on promotion, you can see that with the purchases they have made.

“They are in that same group where we feel we are at. If we put runs of games together and performances together we feel we are capable of getting success. Cardiff are in the exact same boat as us.”