Allcock happy to see Holt closing in on his record

Paddy DavittNorwich City legend Terry Allcock yesterday backed Grant Holt to eclipse his 47-year-old club goalscoring record. Holt's strike against Yeovil on Saturday left him just 11 short of matching Allcock's all-competitions record of 37 goals in a season, set in 1962/63.Paddy Davitt

Norwich City legend Terry Allcock yesterday backed Grant Holt to eclipse his 47-year-old club goalscoring record.

Holt's strike against Yeovil on Saturday left him just 11 short of matching Allcock's all-competitions record of 37 goals in a season, set in 1962/63.

He is, coincidentally, the same number of league goals short of Ralph Hunt's single-season record of 31, set in 1955-56.

The City skipper still needs a goal a game from the club's remaining fixtures to draw alongside the Canaries 'Hall of Famers' - but Allcock believes Holt is more than capable of doing it.

'I wouldn't be disappointed in the slightest if he did it,' said Allcock, whose 26 league goals in his record-breaking campaign were scored in the old Division Two.

'I would be just so pleased for the lad and I'd take my hat off to him. It doesn't matter what level you score the goals it is still a great achievement to get that many.

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'Records are there to be broken and they've already broken one or two this season. A few injuries or suspensions maybe wouldn't help his cause but why not if he gets a hat-trick along the way. Hopefully he doesn't begin to feel the pressure if he gets close to it but I'm sure he wouldn't.'

Allcock feels City's latest cult hero is a throwback to a bygone era.

'I'm impressed with him. He's an old fashioned centre-forward to me,' said Allcock, who has seen plenty of Holt at close quarters during his matchday hospitality role.

'I didn't have much pace but I had the knack I think all goal scorers have of anticipation and getting yourself in the right place. If the ball dropped from the keeper and you were on hand people said that was an easy goal but it's only easy if you get yourself in the position.

'He is so difficult for defenders to handle and so good in the box. It's also great to see Chris Martin chipping in with 20 because strikers need other players to take the pressure off them a little bit. What he is doing as a captain is also a tremendous example to the rest of the team with his enthusiasm and that will to win. Maybe if I had a slight criticism he argues with referees too much but you can see how much he cares.'

Allcock notched 127 goals in 389 appearances during an 11 year stint at Carrow Road despite the prolific marksman only leading the line for two seasons.

'I never classed myself as a striker, I was an inside forward who played a couple of seasons up front when we were short,' he said. 'I played more games as a centre back after I broke my leg but people always tend to remember me for the goals.

'The year I scored 37 we had two wingers and two inside forwards and we were geared up to attack. You need that service and they were quality players - they used to joke that I only scored goals inside the six yard box but I could shoot with both feet and head the ball.

'They tended to come in cumulative spells. I scored four against Newcastle and two against Man City in the same week and I scored a hat trick at Liverpool. I just always scored goals. When I was 17 on my debut for Bolton I scored twice in the first half against Manchester which was a big local derby in those parts.'

Allcock insists it would be a travesty if Norwich now fail to go on and clinch automatic promotion after Holt's latest goal scoring exploits moved them seven points clear of the chasing pack.

'I've been a bit disappointed with the quality of League One if I'm honest,' he said. 'There's about five or six decent teams that I can see but you can't fault what the team and the manager has done. You can only beat what is put in front of you and it would be a disaster from this position if they don't go straight back up. They've worked ever so hard to give themselves that cushion and that is important with some big games ahead.

'It has been a big turnaround although I don't tend to look at the first game as anything other than a complete one off. The keeper made two bad errors and that seemed to spread to the rest of the team but the new manager came in and he has a very calm way about him. He was an excellent player in his day so he knows what it takes and I have been impressed with his tactical switches and the way he goes about the job.'

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