Grant ready to scour country for talent

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant says he will scour the country for new talent to bring to Carrow Road.It's a search that will take him from West Ham to Wycombe as he tries to shape City into a promotion-winning outfit.


Peter Grant says he will scour the country for new talent to bring to Carrow Road.

It's a search that will take him from West Ham to Wycombe as he tries to shape City into a promotion-winning outfit.

Grant has already made one move in the transfer market, bringing in Portsmouth keeper Jamie Ashdown for a month. But he insists the Premiership won't be the only place he will look, even though West Ham, the club he left as assistant manager less than three weeks ago, will be on his list.

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“I wouldn't rule it out,” he said. “They are a top quality side with top quality players, and if there is somebody of top quality not getting games I think would benefit us I will ask.”

Business has been relatively brisk between Carrow Road and Upton Park in the past couple of years - with Dean Ashton and Robert Green heading south and just over £9m coming back this way.

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But Grant admits it's not all one-way traffic.

“I think we have some terrific players here who would be an asset to West Ham United, so I am not going to go begging, borrowing and stealing -I will only bring someone down here who will improve us,” he said. “If it is somebody from West Ham, Liverpool, Man United, so be it, but they will have to improve us.

“I have loads of calls in, but unfortunately managers are saying, 'could you leave it until after this weekend?' or 'could you leave it for two weeks because we have a couple of games coming up?' I understand that - as long as I know where they are and that my name is in the hat to try and bring some people in.”

Bringing players in from so-called “bigger” clubs hasn't always worked in the past - the likes of Jason Jarrett (Wigan), Thomas Helveg (Inter Milan), Mattias Jonson (Brondby) were all relative flops at Carrow Road, but Dean Ashton (Crewe) and Damien Francis (Wimbledon) were proof that there are rich pickings to be made in the lower leagues.

And that is where Grant will continue to cast a net that was thrown some time ago when he began his coaching career in earnest at Bournemouth and continued during the Hammer's Championship days.

“I go to games where you see goal scorers scoring,” said Grant. “In the Championship I saw a hell of a lot of games, but in the Premier it was a wee bit more difficult, because you never see the lower divisions. I always think you have to keep your finger on the pulse.

“You always remember players that come through, and if you see players in the headlines for the right reasons you have to have a look and see what's there, just in case.

“Some maybe won't improve us because they don't fit into your system but if they're very good players you go and have a look to make sure you're not missing anybody. I think it is very, very important for a club like us to keep your finger on the pulse early so we know what's available and what can make us better.”

City have their own scouting network, but Grant says he will never sign a player until he has given him the final stamp of approval.

“I think it is so important that it is a player you have seen,” he said.

“If a scout says, 'you must go and see this player', I'll be there the next moment.

“I will be going to see players myself, but because I see enough players and see enough games, if they recommend it, they have got to be strong on it for me to go if I haven't seen the boy already.

“But there won't be many players I don't know, for sure. I know most players in the division through the years I have been in the other leagues. There are always some new names come in and I will get out there and see once the dust settles here and I get my feet under the table.”

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