Boss wants more from middle men
CHRIS LAKEY The Canaries bucked a trend in midweek, when three midfielders managed to get themselves on the score-sheet. Now Peter Grant is hoping his middle men will provide a more solid back-up to the likes of Jamie Cureton.
The Canaries bucked a trend in midweek, when three midfielders managed to get themselves on the score-sheet.
Darel Russel, Mark Fotheringham - with his first senior City goal - and Simon Lappin all scored in the 5-2 Carling Cup win over Barnet, a refreshing change from last season when goals from the middle of the park were at a premium.
Dickson Etuhu provided half a dozen goals, with Youssef Safri scoring just once, but City manager Peter Grant is hoping his middle men will provide a more solid back-up to the likes of Jamie Cureton, who scored twice against the Bees.
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"I think it is very, very important we add more goals to the group," he said. "We have tried to do that. We have Darel and Jimmy Smith in and I thought we had goals in there anyway.
"With Fozzy (Fotheringham) I think it is important with his qualities that he can add goals, whether it be set plays or direct plays. He is that type of player, he gets on the end of things, he is a very good striker of the ball as we see often in training."
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It was Lappin who opened the floodgates from midfield with City's third after Cureton's brace - and it was probably the best of the bunch as he drove in a left-footed effort from the edge of the area.
"Simon has got that quality," said Grant. "Simon had Adam Drury go on an overlap which gave him the opportunity to do that, but it's a fantastic finish, he has a lovely left foot on him. We think it is very important that midfielders score along with the strikers. If you take the positives from the game you score five and you have three midfielders scoring and you have a striker scoring two goals. They are the positives."
Lappin is fast becoming Mr Versatile at Carrow Road - and could find himself on the move again today.
Grant is waiting a fitness check on Adam Drury's ankle before deciding whether or not Lappin has to take over duties at left back as he did when the former City captain limped off in the second half against Barnet. And while it means another switch could be imminent, it won't worry the Scot.
"I've said before I'll play anywhere that the manager sees fit to play me, whether it be left-back, inside midfield, or wide midfield," he said. "I'll give it my lot in whatever position I'm playing in."
Grant said Lappin's versatility was an asset to the squad.
He said: "We've moved him around. Do you play him in a four, do you play him wide? You've seen him playing at left-back, you've seen him playing inside - and he has a natural left foot. He has very good delivery, he can score goals. He knows there's much improvement still to be done but he's going the right way about it."