Grant: We're desperate for a win

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant says the Canaries are desperate to shrug off the after-effects of the morale-sapping defeat on their last Carrow Road appearance when they face Crystal Palace this weekend.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant says the Canaries are desperate to shrug off the after-effects of the morale-sapping defeat on their last Carrow Road appearance when they face Crystal Palace this weekend.

City threw away three points against Cardiff the last time they played in front of their own fans - and Grant says the players are champing at the bit to consign the defeat to the history books.

Thanks to the international break, the Canaries have had two weeks to iron out the glitches which have seen them slump to 20th in the early Championship table - a break they could have done without.

“It has been a tough two weeks in that the last game was a defeat,” said Grant. “We are desperate to get a result, desperate to win the game, that's the way you are. You are desperate to play well every time you pull on the shirt, you are desperate to perform as an individual and as a group.

“People say you have to put it into perspective, and life into perspective, but when you pull on a football jersey life isn't in perspective. You want to win, you play to win and that's what we are here to do and it is a massive disappointment if you don't.”

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The early weeks of the season have seen Grant forced to wrestle with injury problems, but the enforced break has at least helped clear the decks as far as the treatment room is concerned, with Lee Croft, Ian Murray and David Strihavka all clear of illness and featuring for the reserves last Monday and Darren Huckerby making big strides towards full fitness.

“Crofty and Ian were off for a full week last week so that's why they had to play in the reserve game, with David - they played near enough 80 odd minutes on Monday,” said Grant. “I thought that was important for them to get their legs going a bit, so they were blowing a bit, which you understand after an infection like that.

“But they have trained with no adverse effects. David had missed something like 10 days and Lee five days. They are on the road to recovery and looking much better for it.”

Huckerby came on as a sub against Cardiff - his first league game since the end of last season - and is likely to start against Palace.

“He has been training great, he has been looking great,” said Grant. “He is available - and if I wanted to start him I would have no problems starting him.”

Skipper Jason Shackell is on the mend, leaving Mark Fotheringham and Jimmy Smith the only long-term injury problems - and Chelsea loan player Smith isn't far away.

“I spoke to Jimmy and they are talking about him coming before the end of the month,” said Grant. “Hopefully if he is not back playing by the end of September, maybe the first week or 10 days in October he will be available. We are hoping he is back here in two to three weeks maximum.”