New-look City are told to use their pace

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant believes the days of Norwich City players lagging behind speed merchant Darren Huckerby are over.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant believes the days of Norwich City players lagging behind speed merchant Darren Huckerby are over.

The Canaries showed signs of their new counter-attacking prowess during the first half rout of Barnet in midweek. Now Grant wants his players to carry it on into the Championship, starting against Southampton today.

"I think it is important with the pace we have in the team, it is one thing we have to utilise," said the City boss.


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"I like good legs, that's why I changed the group round a little bit. I felt it was more important when you break quickly you break with a purpose. You are at your most vulnerable when you attack, that is the nature of the beast in a football match and that is when you have to be clued in, that is when you have to use the ball swiftly."

The tactic didn't go to plan last Saturday at Preston, but not for want of trying, with distribution from midfield and defence letting City down.

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"I thought on Saturday we had a lot of opportunities but gave the ball away quickly and it never allowed us to do that," Grant said.

"We have it within the group, we have good legs and we have good energy. We have a group of players that should be capable of that.

"It used to be when that Darren ran with the ball the rest of the players were 60, 70 yards behind him - I don't think that will be the case any more.

"I think the boys have a great fitness level about them, which is great credit to themselves. Now it is just a matter of putting it all together and saying when we defend it is not about taking a rest. I always say you work extremely hard to get the ball back, you work twice as hard to keep it. That means quick breaks, that means attacking quickly, that means hurting the opposition as quickly as you possibly can. That is something we have worked on and are trying to do. "

The final third is clearly the key, and Grant believes that despite the five goals City put past Barnet, it should have been more.

"We had a lot more chances in the first period to put in better balls and we didn't do it," he said. "I felt we could have scored another three or four or five in that period if we had taken more care."

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