Is Grant City’s main critic, I wonder?

Peter Grant has come out in defence of his players ahead of today's trip to Barnsley as he looks to build on Tuesday night's fine win at Luton.

Peter Grant has come out in defence of his players ahead of today's trip to Barnsley as he looks to build on Tuesday night's fine win at Luton.

"They've had a lot to put up with both in criticism and in moving the team about," he said yesterday.

"I was chuffed for them at the final whistle because it shows all the effort they've put in.

"But we've played better in other games and not had any rewards, and people have been very negative about it."

First things first. The win at Kenilworth Road was very welcome and showed the team has got great character.

Yes, it was only Luton, but to come from behind - twice! - to win in injury time was just what we needed.

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Okay, the defence was again a shambles at times, but on the plus side Chris Martin looks as if he's the best young talent we've had at Carrow Road since Chris Sutton.

To score from two set pieces in the same game was also extremely heartening. The fact that there was a dummy from Youssef Safri before Simon Lappin took that last-minute free-kick suggested there was a plan of sorts, and it's been a long time since we've given the impression that there has been any work done at the training ground on free kicks.

So if Tuesday night is the sign of things to come, things really will be on the up.

But one swallow doesn't make a summer, and although things look a lot more rosy today than they did immediately after last Saturday's dire Coventry performance, we need to push on and get a couple more wins if we are to avoid a tense end to the season.

And that brings me back to Grant's comments about negativity.

He's absolutely right, of course. There has been a lot of negativity about. But what do you expect when you are scrabbling around just six points off the relegation zone despite having had two years of parachute money?

Apologies if we've not all been full of the joys of spring, but we've had a pretty wretched couple of years.

Although performances have improved somewhat over the past few weeks, things are not exactly fantastic at the moment. And yet Grant appears surprised at the negative reaction to recent performances.

Interestingly, he picked out the Wolves game a month ago as a case in point.

"We played the other evening (at Luton) and everybody's praiseworthy, but it's trying to get that balance," he said yesterday.

"We played against Wolves and I thought we were excellent. We never got anything from the game. People just go on the result."

To be fair to Grant, using the Wolves game was a good example. Most of the fans gave the team a standing ovation at the end of that match, because although we lost 1-0, we had bombarded the Wolves goal and could easily have won 6-1. It was just one of those days.

But there was also a degree of criticism aimed at the team.

During the Radio Norfolk post-match analysis, there were comments bandied about such as "It's a big, big problem"; "People are passing the buck and not taking responsibility"; the misses in front of goal were "criminal"; and "When we play badly, we don't win, and when we play well, we don't win"; and "We're not good enough".

So who said those things on the radio? Er . . . it was Peter Grant.

There can't have been a manager in Carrow Road's history who has worn his heart on his sleeve as much as Grant has. And after the previous incumbent in the managerial hot-seat, someone with Grant's refreshing outlook is exactly what was needed.

We are not fools. We know when our team has played well and when it has under-performed, and what annoyed a lot of people about Worthington were the same old post-match interviews he gave.

Grant, on the other hand, says what he believes, even when it means upsetting his own players or (such as after the Hull game) the paying spectators. On some occasions, his comments have been as negative as anyone's.

Which makes yesterday's little outburst about negativity all the more strange. And when it's his own quotes that he appears to be criticising, things get even more puzzling.