Croft ready for launch
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Peter Grant is looking for Lee Croft to light the blue touch paper at Molineux this afternoon and finally launch City's faltering season into orbit.
Canaries boss Peter Grant is looking for Lee Croft to light the blue touch paper at Molineux this afternoon and finally launch City's faltering season into orbit.
Croft is almost certain to start his first game in nearly two months as City embark on a hectic four-match programme in the space of 10 days over the Christmas period.
The 21-year-old right winger was a sub at Southampton last week and in just 35 minutes showed just what Grant had been missing for the previous eight games.
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And his presence could be vital if City are to drag themselves out of the bottom half of the Championship table and prove they are, as Grant contends, genuine promotion contenders.
“I am delighted to have him back and I think it shows you how important a player he is with his performance last week,” enthused Grant. “It was great him coming back and he has worked ever so hard so he deserves that little bit of luck and hopefully he is coming back at the right time for us and can be one of the catalysts that can turn this round for us.
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“He has Premiership experience as well, he is a young man, he has great enthusiasm for the game, he loves playing the game of football and I think he gives you something different to what we have, there is no doubt in my mind about that.
“I like players in their natural position and now I have that balance with the right-sider there. I was playing with midfielders out there - and sometimes that will happen - but he is natural and comfortable there, which is always a big plus for me.”
Croft has started just twice under Grant - in the away win at Birmingham in his first match in charge and then the home victory over then leaders Cardiff - before suffering ankle ligament damage in the 5-0 thrashing at Stoke.
The former Manchester City man is fit enough to start, having shaken off the cobwebs last weekend, and for Grant it's like having a new player.
“He was excellent last week,” he said. “I think he has been excellent since I came, he just needed a wee bit of direction.
“I thought he did a hell of a lot work covering a lot of ground when he didn't need to do it and I think he is getting better at that.”