Grant hard to please
CHRIS LAKEY New Canaries boss Peter Grant is proving a tough man to please.Having seen his City side beat table-topping Cardiff in front of the biggest crowd of the season at Carrow Road, Grant pulled no punches in his assessment of his team's performance.
New Canaries boss Peter Grant is proving a tough man to please.
Having seen his City side beat table-topping Cardiff in front of the biggest crowd of the season at Carrow Road, Grant pulled no punches in his assessment of his team's performance.
“First half 10 out of 10, second half two,” he said.
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It was City's second win in five days since Grant began to prowl in front of his dug-out, but that didn't stop him from pointing an accusing finger - in several directions:
t On Paul McVeigh's 90th-minute red card - “He let us down badly”
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t On Darren Huckerby - “I didn't think he was doing his job properly”
t On the City defence - “they've got to open their mouths and organise people”
t On new keeper Jamie Ashdown - “I thought he didn't play particularly well”
However, Grant admitted there were plus sides to his first week in management.
“If you'd have said to me last Monday you're going to have six points against the two teams you're going to play, I'd have bitten your arm off for it,” he said. “I'm ecstatic in one respect, but I know there's a lot of work to be done.”
The victory, in front of a crowd of 25,014, lifts City to 11th in the Championship, just four points off the final play-off spot, but it was a day of so many talking points.
The first came on the team-sheet, with Ashdown - who had only joined the club the previous day on a month's loan from Portsmouth - preferred to Paul Gallacher, with Grant concerned about a nervousness in the City defence.
“It was a massive decision - he had a clean sheet the other day, but I just felt Jamie would have the experience of playing in the Premier League, experience of getting promotion and understanding what it's like to be in the Championship,” said Grant. “But I thought he didn't play particularly well, and do all the things I talk about, commanding his area, his distribution. I thought he let us down on that today, so it was disappointing, but it was a big call. But if you leave it too late and end up losing a game before I change, then it's too late.”
City's winner came just seven minutes, courtesy of a magnificent strike by Dickson Etuhu, who Grant believes has the capacity to become a Premiership player.
“Dickson's been excellent for us,” he said. “He's got top, top quality, but the thing is he's got to put his working jacket on every day. If he puts his working jacket on every day, he could play in the Premier League, but he's got to do it that way, he's got to play 100pc up and down that pitch because he's got that strength, that energy, and added to that a lot of quality that some Premier League players can only dream about.
“Just before he scored he had the same sort of opportunity and he missed it. The keeper's made a save, then the second one he's put away and only top quality players can do that and there's no doubt in my mind he's a Premier League player - but there's no rest days for him.”