Just another game

Canaries manager Peter Grant is refusing to up the ante ahead of tonight's trip to Queens Park Rangers - insisting it's just as important as any other game.

By CHRIS LAKEY

Canaries manager Peter Grant is refusing to up the ante ahead of tonight's trip to Queens Park Rangers - insisting it's just as important as any other game.

The pressure on Grant has increased in recent weeks, with City plummeting into the relegation zone after a dreadful run which has seen them win just once in their last seven league games.

Many City fans have turned on Grant, the team and the board of directors, and one point from two home games within the space of four days has done little to clear the dark clouds forming over Carrow Road.

QPR are bottom of the table and without a win to their name all season, and anything but a Norwich win in front of the Sky TV cameras tonight will simply crank up the pressure.

But Grant has baulked at suggestions that tonight's trip to west London carries any added significance.

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“It doesn't change for me, every game is important - the next game is the most important one,” he said. “The importance never ever changes - you are always representing the club, you are always representing yourself. You want to be the best and you want to win every game - importance doesn't matter.

“I hate being at the bottom of the league, I hate losing games - but no doubt people will keep telling me that. So at the end of the day the biggest thing is to win games, nothing else.”

Scouting for the game was done by assistant manager Jim Duffy, who saw the Londoners lose 4-2 at Colchester last Wednesday, while Grant watched a strong City reserves side between Stevenage reserves 3-0 at Carrow Road.

“I just thought there were too many of our boys playing in the reserve game that I hadn't seen playing matches for a few weeks so I thought it was important to see that,” Grant explained.

“There was a lot of feedback from the game, which was important, because I am obviously concerned about our own players and how we are going to prepare.

“Jim went and analysed the game and it was good to see their new boys played, (Rowan) Vine and (Jason) Jarrett had come in and it was important we got to see that.”

Grant is forced into changes ion his back four tonight, with Gary Doherty out with a groin problem, fellow central defender Ian Murray struggling with a foot injury, and left back Adam Drury still being troubled by a stiff back. Jason Shackell is back after his three-match ban, but with striker Jamie Cureton also doubtful with a foot injury, the negatives outweigh the positives for Grant.

“Unfortunately that's the way it's been,” he said. “We had that hanging over us last season a little bit in the fact that we kept getting injuries in the same areas of the field. There is not much you can do about that when games come thick and fast and the pace the game is played at now there are going to be bumps and bruises that you don't actually feel during games and it is sometimes after it that you get the biggest problems.

“The one thing about these guys is they are all desperate to play, and sometimes that can be a hindrance in its own way, because sometimes they are not telling you about injuries they are suffering from. But I can't knock that; I am hoping some of these guys will be available.”