Grant refuses to make promises to loanees

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant says he cannot guarantee a starting place in his Norwich line-up for Premiership loan players - not even for one of Fergie's Fledglings.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant says he cannot guarantee a starting place in his Norwich line-up for Premiership loan players - not even for one of Fergie's Fledglings.

The City manager has Jimmy Smith on loan from London giants Chelsea and could add to his squad by bringing in another player on a short-term deal.

However, Grant insists that players won't join if there is a rider that they must play every game - and dropped a large hint that the very reason he missed out on teenage Manchester United defender Ryan Shawcross was because he was not prepared to give any guarantees about his playing prospects.


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Shawcross was tipped for a move to Carrow Road last week, but opted to join Championship rivals Stoke City on a six-month deal last week rather than move east.

“Obviously I was interested in Shawcross and we got permission to speak to him, but the lad doesn't live far from Stoke, his parents are from there, and they could guarantee him a game,” said Grant, whose team face Barnet in the first round of the Carling Cup tonight. “But I am not guaranteeing anybody a game.

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“I don't think I would guarantee Ronaldinho that.

“If he doesn't play well he's out of the team - whether you're at Manchester United, whatever.

“There are no guarantees from anybody and if anybody wants that I can't have them because they have to earn their spurs like everybody else.”

Grant has made seven permanent signings this summer but admits central defence and the left side of midfield still need strengthening, either by loan or permanent deals. Should the latter not be forthcoming by deadline day on August 31, then Grant has the option to go for short-term deals.

“I would still like a few bodies in,” he confirmed. “The big thing as well if I am not going to buy them it's not as if it is August 31.

“But I will keep looking because I definitely do need a couple of players within the group just to give us strength in depth if we get a couple of injuries.

“I want to bring boys in not just as back-up but to put major pressure on and if they get the opportunity they stay in the side. We have the likes of Jimmy Smith out injured, but people tend to forget he gives us that wee bit of difference middle of the pitch.

“Left-hand side I still feel we are one short there, defensively maybe a bit of cover there. I would say two three people you would hope to get in the group. Whether you can get them is a different question, but we are hoping in the next couple of weeks clubs will start to say this one is available, that one is available where everybody is trying to hold over at this moment in time.”

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