Colney performances spells axe for some

Peter Grant says poor training ground performances could spell the axe for Norwich City players. The Canaries boss admitted some players had paid the price for shoddy work at Colney already this season and says there are no guaranteed places in his first choice starting XI.

Peter Grant says poor training ground performances could spell the axe for Norwich City players.

The Canaries boss admitted some players had paid the price for shoddy work at Colney already this season and says there are no guaranteed places in his first choice starting XI.

“There is nobody first choice, they have to earn first choice, and that's with a performance week in, week out,” he said. “And it's with their training as well because I've left players out this season when they have not trained well. That's the way it is.

“If they think they can switch the light on come Saturday then sorry, you are working for the wrong man.”

Grant has chopped and changed his goalkeepers this season, while Jurgen Colin has lost his regular right back spot to midfielder Andy Hughes.

It's a position Hughes appeared to have made his own, holding it down last week against Ipswich even though he could have been drafted into a weakened City midfield.

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However, Grant says Hughes, like everyone else, still has to earn the right to play.

“Andy has done exceptionally well,” he said. “There are no guarantees in this team. I think if people get in there and play the position well, they stay in the team. If they don't do well I will try and bring somebody else in.

“I would never say Tony Warner is number one goalkeeper, I would never say Adam Drury is number one left back because if they don't do the business you don't play them if you have people to replace them with.”

Hughes has turned a huge corner this season: having been on the receiving end of terrace abuse he was involved in an ugly incident with a supporter after the home defeat by Burnley in October which led to Nigel Worthington's departure.

But his performance against Ipswich last Sunday was arguably the best in a Norwich shirt - and the fans now chant his name in praise.

“Andy has been exceptional,” said Grant. “His attitude since I came in the door has been first class. I knew before I came in he had a problem with the support in one game, so I knew all about that. I think he has handled that extremely well. I think the fans have bought into the fact he gives 100pc.

“If you give supporters 100pc commitment and attitude they will back you to the hilt. They will have a bit more time for you if you give them 100pc effort and commitment. We have to add that 100pc commitment to the squad with quality. His attitude to everything he does is magnificent.”

And Grant said even when times were tough, Hughes never asked for a move away from Carrow Road.

“Not at all, not once,” said Grant. “Probably the biggest pain in the backside is that he comes into my office every day. He says, 'I'll play there', if somebody is injured. He has great enthusiasm for the game, a fantastic attitude.”