Grant sure striker will hit goal trail
CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant is backing Czech new boy David Strihavka to join his team-mates on the summer goal trail. City have scored 19 goals in four pre-season games, with Jamie Cureton banging in three in his last two outings, Chris Brown scoring his first goals for the club and teenager Chris Martin bagging a brilliant four against Lowestoft.
Peter Grant is backing Czech new boy David Strihavka to join his team-mates on the summer goal trail.
City have scored 19 goals in four pre-season games, with Jamie Cureton banging in three in his last two outings, Chris Brown scoring his first goals for the club and teenager Chris Martin bagging a brilliant four against Lowestoft.
But while Strihavka - who sat out the 12-0 rout at Lowestoft - has yet to find the back of the net in 200 minutes of football, Grant is delighted with the way he is adapting to English football.
“He has been doing well,” he said. “He is so keen to score, but I have been looking at his movement and it's very good.
“With David, it's a case of him moving to another level, and it takes time to reach that sharpness we ask of players.
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“We keep seeing his quality and we know he is a good player so while it would be nice for him to score I am not concerned about it - I'd be more concerned if he wasn't getting into the positions.
“He had a couple of chances on Saturday against Apeldoorn when he rounded the keeper but didn't finish it off. He should have scored but I put that down to tired legs.
“But his general play has not been in question. Chris Brown and Jamie are getting the goals as is young Chrissy Martin - seeing the strikers getting goals pleases me because it doesn't matter who you are playing against, scoring and winning breed good habits.
“You want them to be in situation where if they have a chance they score.”
Grant will mix and match again tonight when City play their final match in Holland, against FC Zwolle.
Darren Huckerby is missing with a groin injury while Julien Brellier is unlikely to be risked as he tries to shake off a thigh injury.
“His fitness tests were good but it's a case of trying to combine fitness with the work we do - our bodies are attuned to it,” said Grant.
Grant says the step up in opposition and the changer of scenery after the brace of local friendlies has been a worthwhile exercise.
“The training has been good and the facilities are excellent,” said Grant, who has not missed the opportunity to keep a close eye on Spanish giants Valencia, who were using the same training facility.
“We haven't had to travel far and we've been able to do two sessions most days - we just missed the one last Friday because of the thunder and lightning.
“We have done different things and I am sure the players are picking up something new every day - we're getting some good feedback. And we've been able to integrate the new players which has been good - I'm very upbeat.
“There are demands on the players - step below the line and they won't be part of it, they know that. We have to be as competitive on the training field as we are on the pitch and at this moment they are doing that.”
Selection for tonight's match - at the same stadium in the Dutch town of Harderwijk - won't be decided until later today, but again it will be calculated by the minutes required by individual players as much as by Grant's preferred tactics.
“I'm not sure yet who will play,” Grant added. “Some players need more time than others and I am trying different things as well, but I roughly know where I want to be, although it is a case of always assessing what's needed.
“The amateur teams out here are just below Championship level and they are very strong, but we are dealing with it comfortable and will step it up a gear again. It will be tougher on Wednesday so it's case of us trying to maintain our levels - we're not trying to be ready for West Ham or Vitesse, we're just aiming for August 11 at Preston.”