Grant: Chelsea will show us respect
CHRIS LAKEY It may have been hailed as a virtual passport into the quarter-finals for the Premiership champions, but Peter Grant doesn't believe for one minute that Chelsea will underestimate the Canaries tomorrow.
It may have been hailed as a virtual passport into the quarter-finals for the Premiership champions, but Peter Grant doesn't believe for one minute that Chelsea will underestimate the Canaries tomorrow.
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea have never been beaten at Stamford Bridge by a team outside the English Premiership - that's a rarity reserved for only the best that European football can offer.
The odds of Norwich doing that would make the most optimistic of gamblers very rich - but Grant says he has no problems with the pundits who reckon it will be an easy ride.
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“Not at all - probably they will be thinking that as well,” he said. “That wasn't Chelsea, that wasn't the players.
“I think there is no doubt they will respect us, they respected us by coming to watch the game the other evening there. They respected both ourselves and Blackpool.
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“That's what a professional club they are - they will have done their homework and they will be looking at us and saying what an opportunity it is for them, and quite rightly so, because if I was in their position I would be saying the exact same thing.
“But you still have to go out and do that. It's alright talking about it, you still have to go out and do it on the pitch and we will try our damnedest to make it as difficult as we possibly can for them in the proper manner and try and have a go at them instead of just standing back and letting them come on to us all the time.
“Probably that's when we are at our best anyway, because it showed in the last couple games - we have scored five goals but we have lost three silly goals. Blackpool had four or five chances the other evening there and that is more than Leeds and Wolves put together in the two previous games.”
While Chelsea sent staff to watch City finally shake off a feisty Blackpool outfit in Tuesday's fourth round replay, there is little need for any of City's coaching staff to travel the length and breadth of the country to watch Mourinho's team in action.
“I have seen Chelsea myself this season a few times,” added Grant. “Obviously I didn't expect to be playing against them, before the cup draw was made.
“We do our homework, but you know all the best players and how they play and the systems they play. We know they have great quality, there is no doubt about that.
“They are a world class team with world class players, but if you go and worry about that you would never play a game of football.
“I think even when they lose players it doesn't matter who comes in for them, they can change things round. If one goalkeeper is out they bring in another top quality goalkeeper.
“You look at their bench - they struggle and he changes everything and he can bring in another team who are more than capable of running away with it in a five- or 10-minute spell and that is why they have got the quality and the class that they have.
“But you can see it right through their teams - Lampard obviously from the amount of goals he scores from midfield, Robben is back and you are looking at the likes of John Terry coming back now.
“If there is an ideal time to get them it probably isn't now, because you'd probably say they looked a bit weaker without Terry and there is no doubt him coming back is a big big plus for Chelsea and a negative for us.”
The need to watch videos of Didier Drogba in action is clearly one that Grant hasn't subjected his players to.
“I think we are all the same - we watch all the football, we watch everything that is going on,” he said. “We know what these players are capable of.
“I was watching Drogba last year and everybody was criticising him, but I remember two years prior when he was tearing teams apart in the Champions League. We know what they are capable of.
“You talk to people in the Premier League, you listen to people in the Premier League, you watch the Premier League games, people say they don't do this well, they don't do that well - I haven't seen many teams take advantage of it.”