Grant Holt goes back to basics

Grant Holt rarely pulls his punches – even when he himself is on the receiving end.

The Canaries striker scored the goal which earned the points at Deepdale – and then admitted his recent performances hadn't been up to scratch.

Holt – last season's leading scorer and skipper of the League One champions – turned self-analyst this week after a couple of rare off-colour games against Barnsley a week earlier and then in defeat at Doncaster on Tuesday.

Clearly, the introspection worked. Holt hit the woodwork twice in the opening 45 minutes and then, just after the hour mark, finished off a lovely move with the winning goal, crowning a display more typical of the man.

Also, fairly typically, the result meant more than the personal achievement.

'It wasn't just the goal it was more the performance,' he said.

'I think everyone will agree that I haven't been up to par the last couple of games and a little bit off. I had a chat with the manager this week about working and it's been documented that I didn't have a great pre-season, but I thought I played well today.

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'I stripped it down a little bit this week, went back to basics and it worked out well and I'm just glad the team won. It's just football, you have things like that when it's not working out. I think last week I didn't work as hard as I normally can and the manager said don't do that because people notice and I stripped it back and worked hard and I think the team got the result of me doing that.'

It was an honest answer from a man who, on the day, gave another honest striker's performance.

'I think you have got to be honest,' he said. 'If you don't look at your performance and criticise it then you will never come out the other side and I think anyone who was here today will have seen a drastic improvement from what was there on Tuesday.'

Holt doubled his league tally, but it could have been more after he saw a header fly off the bar and a left-foot effort come back off a post on the stroke of half-time.

'We were unlucky,' he said. 'A lot opportunities just didn't seem to go our way with things falling. We had one cleared off the line and there was Chris (Martin) and there was Barney (Leon Barnett), one hit the bar, one hit the post and you think it's going to be one of those days again.

'But we kept going, we have got a resilience there that wants to win football matches. We don't go anywhere for a draw, we go to win the games and it's great we got the 1-0 because it gives the defence the boost of keeping a clean sheet.

'It was the same as last year, the manager won't take a draw, he thinks we can go anywhere and win games, we never go with a defeatist attitude that we're going to sit in for a point, we go to win football matches, and when we are on it and we move it and we work hard we're a force to reckon with.'