Lack of punch cost us dearly says Grant

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Peter Grant says a lack of penetration cost him dearly against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. The Canaries looked to have recovered from last weekend's dismal performance at Wolves, but the second half was marked by a noticeable case of the nerves - and the inevitable happened when Wade Small struck the only goal 15 minutes from time.

CHRIS LAKEY

Canaries boss Peter Grant says a lack of penetration cost him dearly against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

The Canaries looked to have recovered from last weekend's dismal performance at Wolves, but the second half was marked by a noticeable case of the nerves - and the inevitable happened when Wade Small struck the only goal 15 minutes from time.

City have now lost two of their last three home games - and with it their confidence, which is fast descending to a new low.

“I thought in the first period we probably passed it as well as we have done at home, without being penetrative in any shape or form,” said Grant.

“I thought a couple of times there is no doubt we could have been more positive when we got into good positions. That was probably the only thing I could be critical of, they weren't positive enough and as the game went on you just sensed that little bit of edginess coming in because Sheffield Wednesday were obviously in the game.

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“We have not really been penetrative enough - and I always say when teams are still in the game they always have the opportunity - but I think the goal summed it up. Everybody seemed to back off, and everyone in the stadium could see them - to go and press the ball and everybody was shouting and the only ones that didn't react were the players.

“Obviously it is a massive blow for us, there is no use kidding ourselves.

“You can see as the game went on, I could see it in their faces, they were starting to think more about their individual stuff instead off just doing the simple things well, and not making themselves available for possession of the ball, and for me that's criminal.

“You have got to keep making sure you want the ball because the only way you can move the ball is if you want it and I felt some of the gang never worked hard enough to get on it. Is that lack of confidence? For sure it is.”

Grant's problem now is to try and find a way of restoring confidence - some of which was evident in the midweek Carling Cup performance at Manchester City - particularly with another home match against Scunthorpe tomorrow night.

“I have been in the game a long time as a player and a coach and the only way you get confidence is winning matches,” he said. “You have to keep working with them and keep believing what you are doing is the proper thing.

“As I say, I personally can't work any harder with them, it's 24-7 with them in organisation, preparation. You can't go on there and actually do it for them and say go on, be willing to make that mistake.”

“I said to them prior to the game you have got to play the game in the proper manner and do what is available to you, what you did the other evening there: they were brave, they got on the ball, they passed it well, they were positive with their passing. Today I thought they started to get a little more tentative as it went on. That is not down to the supporters, it's individuals just being brave enough to do it and in that period, an important period, we weren't brave enough.”