Grant Holt is urging Wigan to follow Norwich City’s example
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Former Norwich captain Grant Holt believes his new club Wigan can emulate the Canaries and clinch promotion this season after a goalscoring Championship debut for the Latics.
Holt and another City old boy Leon Barnett were on target in a 4-0 romp at Barnsley which signalled the FA Cup holders' clear intent to bounce back from relegation at the first attempt.
The Latics' summer signings were among a clutch of former Canaries on league duty at the weekend and Holt is under no illusions how tough it will be to maintain their flying start.
'There are good teams in this division, I've been in it before and it's not easy,' he said. 'When we went up with Norwich I don't think anyone gave us a chance - we were 33/1 or something. It's a tough division and every game's a challenge, and these are the ones where you're rewarded. It's hard when you've got a reputation and they want to beat you and ram it down your throat. But we weathered it, we kicked on and our quality showed.'
The City Hall of Famer is convinced Wigan have the right mix with Barnett's arrival bolstering them at the back.
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'We're still learning what each other does in different situations,' he said. 'But we've got lads who can finish and we were fantastic at the back, and that's a good combination. We've just got good players throughout the team.
'A few times little things just didn't go our way, but there was some good play throughout. We can keep the ball and move it in good areas. If you look at our last goal, the number of passes involved in the build-up was incredible.'
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Among Holt's former City team mates who left Carrow Road during the summer, James Vaughan's first game since a permanent Huddersfield switch ended in disappointment with a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest. One-time City loanee Henri Lansbury was on target at the City Ground.
Chris Martin played 84 minutes for Derby in a 1-1 televised draw at home to Blackburn with Leon Best's 89th minute equaliser denying Nigel Clough's Rams a perfect start at Pride Park.
Elliott Ward and current City loanee Andrew Surman both featured in newly-promoted Bournemouth's 2-1 opening day win over Charlton.
City academy graduate Tom Adeyemi's full Birmingham debut ended in a booking and a 1-0 St Andrews' defeat to play-off final losers Watford, with Mark Tierney's Bolton earning a 1-1 draw at Burnley. Meanwhile in League One, new Oldham captain Korey Smith inspired the Latics to a 4-3 win at Stevenage whilst Smith's former house mate George Francomb was in the AFC Wimbledon side that drew 1-1 at Torquay in League Two. Latics' chief Lee Johnson is confident the 22-year-old Smith will rise to the captaincy challenge at Boundary Park.
'I think Korey epitomises what I was about as a player. He is brave as a lion, brave on the ball and can take the ball anywhere,' he said. 'He leads by example on the pitch, though he still has a bit to do off the pitch, but he is a young boy. Korey has won the division with Norwich and also the next division. And if there is somebody the lads can look to on the pitch and respect then it is Korey.'
Vote for who you think should replace Holt as Norwich City's captain for the new season.