Growing belief in Norwich City’s challenge
AUDIO: The games come thick and fast for the Canaries this month – but will the moustaches follow suit?
Skipper Grant Holt says City won't be changing the way they play, but you can bet they will be changing the way they look the further we get into the month of 'Movember', when all the playing staff will be growing moustaches for the Prostate Cancer charity and to raise awareness of men's health.
Holt and defender Michael Nelson are the Moustache Police at City, ready to punish any clipping or shaving offences with an immediate �100 fine.
While some of the younger players may struggle to produce anything of substance, the smart money is on Simon Lappin being the first to sport significant growth – perhaps in time for the game against Burnley this afternoon.
'It's trying to raise the awareness really,' said Holt. 'We had a chat the other week about testicular cancer and it kind of brought it home. A few of us know (Millwall player) Neil Harris who has had it and it is just trying to get the awareness out there and it is trying to raise money for more research into prostate and testicular cancer.
'Everyone knows whoever shaves it off it's �100 into the kitty for charity, so everyone is having a good go. I think Lapps shaved this morning and he's got a big Magnum one this afternoon.
'I think a few of the lads will take longer to grow – Michael Nelson has been growing his for about four days and hasn't got anything. Simon Lappin's could be ridiculous.'
- 1 Carriageway of A11 closed after air ambulance called to crash
- 2 Man dies after collapsing during dog walk in Norfolk village
- 3 Drink driving teacher crashed into church wall with baby in car
- 4 Michael Bublé concert bans chairs and blankets from gig
- 5 7 of the prettiest villages in north Norfolk
- 6 A47 reopens after serious crash near Swaffham
- 7 Recycling centre closures planned as part of £15m County Hall cuts
- 8 11 indulgent spa getaways in East Anglia
- 9 Family sue Wetherspoon after man falls to death in city pub
- 10 Norwich Airport TUI flight delayed by 42 hours
First evidence will be on show today – while a national TV audience should see a lot more when City play Reading away next weekend and then Ipswich at Carrow Road on November 28.
Important though the initiative is, all minds will be on gaining three Championship points this afternoon, which will go some way to erasing the disappointment of last week's 3-1 defeat at Cardiff, when Wes Hoolahan's goal rewarded City for a fine comeback from two goals down only for a penalty to hand the points to the new leaders.
Hoolahan did what Holt has done for years, got his head to the ball where the boots are flying and finding the back of the net.
'It's something we talked about with Wes,' said Holt. 'Obviously everyone knows how good he is getting on the ball and how good he manoeuvres us and how many goals he has created for us this year, but we say to him he needs to get in the box a little bit more. He did that at the weekend and he scored – hopefully he will take that on board and do it a little bit more.
'The way we play with the diamond it is difficult for me and Simeon (Jackson) not to drift wide. Even if you look at the game last week you have got to drift wide, you have to find a different angle.
'We don't play with out-and-out wingers, albeit it looks at times that we do, but we don't. Sometimes we do drift out and it is up to the rest of the lads when the ball goes wide to get in their box if we are not there.
'Last week Simeon was out of the box, Wes got in there and scored. It is stuff we are working on. We are working every week on the training ground to get ourselves better and better.
'We are in this position now where we are doing well. We are improving things. As you can see at the weekend, where we didn't have the ball we looked a lot more solid in the second half, we limited them to shots from the edge of the box. We are learning and if we keep going we can stay where we are until after Christmas and then once everything clicks, push on again as we did last year.'
After a free week it's back to the grind, with Burnley followed by a trip to Millwall on Tuesday and then the televised game at Reading next weekend – but Holt is boosted by the prospect of returns for some of the injured players.
'The games come thick and fast and obviously at the moment we have got a thinnish squad,' he said.
'They are like new signings when they come into the squad. That will bulk the squad up, give us more options which you need when these games keep coming.
'We will have that run and then we will have a little break and then we have the Christmas and New Year period which is tough, but we are enjoying it.
'We are enjoying the league. We are in a position where we can kick on, stay where we are and if we are there after Christmas you never know where it takes you.
'We pride ourselves on not getting beaten and if we do get beat we have got the mentality and the belief to bounce back and get the win, or at least not get beat and we will do the same on Saturday.'
• To donate and support the squad's Movember movement, visit their 'Mo page' on the club's official website.