Grant's anger at onside ruling

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Peter Grant had another scrape with officialdom on Saturday, after a clear offside was missed in the build-up to Wolves' first equaliser.


Canaries boss Peter Grant had another scrape with officialdom on Saturday, after a clear offside was missed in the build-up to Wolves' first equaliser.

Grant was incensed that referee Phil Joslin allowed played to continue, despite the fact that there were Wolves players in clear offside positions in the build-up to Karl Henry's goal late in the first half.

The move started with a quick free-kick on Wolves' left flank: Michael McIndoe knocked it forward to Michael Kightly in the left channel, but the youngster, as well as striker Leon Clarke in the middle, were still walking back to onside positions and were still a good two or three yards offside.

However, there was no flag, play continued, and Henry equalised.

It left Grant - who was angry with referee Uriah Rennie after last week's defeat at Southampton - again choosing his words carefully.

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“I can accept the referee getting it wrong, but I can't accept the linesman getting it wrong,” he said. “He was helped because the 18-yardd box was there and two of them are inside the 18-yard box and our four defenders are a yard outside it - plain as the nose on your face, absolutely bizarre.

“These are the things that cost you - can cost me my job if you don't get victories. I will be critical of teams and players, if the ref doesn't do his job properly I have to be critical of him as well. Fair play to him today - it was his linesman that got it wrong.

“Four minutes of injury time, offside goal - it's interesting. I need to go back and see what the rules are - if you're only three yards offside does it not count?”

Grant was also non-plussed at the treatment of striker Dion Dublin, who had a 90-minute running battle with Wolves defenders Jody Craddock and Gary Breen - but was booked for one physical challenge too many.

“I thought the booking of Dion was poor,” said Grant. “Because he is 6ft 3 somebody bangs him on the back we don't get a free kick, but then he does it the opposite way it's free kick to them. It is the first time I have seen a centre half getting protection.

“I found that bizarre because it was a typical battle between two old experienced players who were showing their know-how in the game. Common sense should come into it. The two teams tried to play in the proper manner but there were so many free kicks for absolutely nothing.”

Grant had seen his team take a 10th-minute lead through Robert Earnshaw, who made it 2-1 with his 16th Championship goal of the season, before Wolves equalised again, through Jody Craddock in time added on.

The emotions were, hardly surprisingly, mixed.

“Anger, frustration, massive disappointment,” said Grant. “I don't think many managers will come here and be disappointed to get a point. We are absolutely gutted to say the least. To say I am frustrated is a understatement.”

Grant had started with Dion Dublin up front after his stint covering for injuries and suspension at the back, and it paid dividends with the assists that created both goals. It was the perfect little and large combination - although Grant was refusing to get carried away in his post-match assessment

“Dion's been excellent for me since I came, whether he's played centre back, whether he's played striker,” said Grant.

“He understands the game, he has got a football intelligence, which he has through the years but uses it well.

“Earnie has got two goals today but played poorly, in his general game. He knows he has to do much better for us, I don't mean just running about, I mean protecting the ball a little bit and being more available for his team-mates when they are in possession. He was poor at that today. He scored two wonderful goals, typical predator goals, but I think that was mostly down to Dion.

“But saying that the team in general I was happy with. I didn't think we started the second half particularly well. We were just playing off the cuff a little bit, which is unacceptable because we have played off the cuff for too long and now we've got to put more of structure to what we are doing. When we look structured as a team we broke the game up so much and broke on to them quickly and created chances.

“They got a lot of crosses in but we defended them comfortably - so to come away with only a point is galling to say the least.”