Grant's happy with Hucks
Norwich boss Peter Grant wants Darren Huckerby to terrorise Championship title contenders Derby tonight. Huckerby thrived in Oakwell's wide open spaces on Saturday - tying Barnsley skipper Paul Reid in knots to break the deadlock with his seventh strike since the New Year before coolly picking out Chris Martin for a killer third.
Norwich boss Peter Grant wants Darren Huckerby to terrorise Championship title contenders Derby tonight.
Huckerby thrived in Oakwell's wide open spaces on Saturday - tying Barnsley skipper Paul Reid in knots to break the deadlock with his seventh strike since the New Year before coolly picking out Chris Martin for a killer third.
Grant will send his main strike weapon out to face the Rams with a simple message ringing in his ears - same again.
“He knows what he's got to do and that is end product,” said Grant. “People will always judge him on the final ball and at this moment in time he has been a revelation. I'm delighted for him - whether it's scoring goals or creating chances. That's always been my motivation. It's never about the defensive side - I don't expect him to defend.”
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The City boss insists Huckerby's double impact against Barnsley cutting in from an unfamiliar wide right berth proves the 30-year-old has more than one string to his bow.
“I think he is a massive danger on the right,” said Grant. “A lot of people say he is better on the left but look at the quality of his goal and the cross for Chrissy Martin. If David Beckham had put in that cross everyone would've stood up and said it was amazing. Hucks' is more than capable of that. There is no doubt in my mind his delivery from the right is better than down the left and he proved that yet again at Barnsley.
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“He has just got to believe it as well. If he's told the same thing about only playing on the left you start to believe it yourself.”
Grant is looking to take a leaf out of the Derby playbook by stretching his side's current three-match unbeaten run.
“They've shown fantastic consistency,” he said. “I've always said anyone who can do that in this league has a great chance. I heard Billy (Davies) say their blip is over after beating Colchester but they had managed to go on a run longer than most. They were winning games 1-0, either scoring early or late, and holding onto the points. That is a great trait and it's brought them rewards.
“Knowing Billy they will come here for the win but he'd be delighted with a point because he'll see that as a point gained. He demands the maximum from his players and they have been giving him that so we know it'll be tough.”
Grant accepts shackling one-time Canary target and County's 15-goal striker Steve Howard is a key combat area.
“He's a big threat,” said Grant. “I'm a big fan because he's scored a lot of goals and has been around the division a long time to know what it's all about. I think his performances have shown it was money well spent when they brought him in.”
Jason Shackell and teenage starlet Martin have both shaken off minor knocks picked up in the Barnsley win. Grant has ruled out any prospect of a breather for his young starlet.
“When I was 18 I'd have played five or six times a week - no problem,” said Grant. “He wants to get better all the time but he has a long way to go and the same applies to the whole team. Chrissy knows he has things to work on in his game. During the second half on Saturday he gave the ball away a couple of times quite cheaply with his back to goal when we we're in good positions to break out.
“Shacks felt blurry for a long time during the second half. He was a bit better on Sunday and the physio has had a look so I'm sure he'll be fine.”
Grant will take no chances with veteran Dion Dublin (calf) but must decide whether to take the reins of Luke Chadwick after his surprise inclusion on the Oakwell bench.
“He's champing at the bit to get back,” said Grant. “I just felt it was important after the amount of work he'd done to get him involved and give him a gee up by travelling with the team. He's trained for nine days without a rest day so I've got to be careful even though he's keen to play. The injury is fine - no problem, it's just the soreness and stiffness.
“Dion is getting closer all the time, but he's 37 years of age so you have to remember it takes a bit longer to heal.”