Holt has point to prove after 'letting City down'
Norwich City skipper Grant Holt aims to make up for lost time on his return to action against Brighton this weekend. Holt watched City surrender their 16-match unbeaten League One run at Millwall in the final game of a three game ban for violent conduct.
Norwich City skipper Grant Holt aims to make up for lost time on his return to action against Brighton this weekend.
Holt watched City surrender their 16-match unbeaten League One run at Millwall in the final game of a three game ban for violent conduct.
"I'm champing at the bit now to get back and involved," he said. "I've let the club down by getting the sending-off, let the fans down and let my team-mates down, more importantly.
"They've done unbelievably in the three games leading up to Millwall. I thought at the weekend it caught up with them a little bit, playing the games that they've played, but they still kept going and were a little bit unfortunate not to get anything.
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"The lads who came in have done a really good job. They played with 10 men against Brentford, went to Walsall on a bad pitch and got a result there, played Hartlepool and got another good result.
It was always going to come, there was always going to be a blip, but it's how we respond now."
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Holt insists Paul Lambert's squad must retain a sense of perspective over a rare league defeat at the New Den.
"You never want to lose matches," he said. "It doesn't matter if you've been on the best run in the world or you keep getting beaten every week, no footballer likes getting beaten. But you've got to look at the positives and take what you've done over the last 16 weeks, not what you've done at the weekend.
"We know it's a blip. Millwall are a good side, they're in the play-off places and they'll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. It's not like we've been beaten by someone who's near the bottom of the league."
Brighton have won just two of their 13 home games this season at the Withdean Stadium, designed primarily for athletics.
"It will be a different atmosphere, the ground is very open and our fans are miles away," said Holt. "But we've just got to go there and do what we've been doing the last few weeks, which is a great job, a workmanlike job, and get the points. It's very open plan, very windy, it could be any sort of surface. We know they're not on the greatest run at home, but they're good away so it shows they've got a little bit about them. But the way we've been performing, to go down there and get anything less than a win will be disappointing."
Holt also paid tribute to young strike partner Chris Martin who has shouldered the burden in the top scorer's absence.
Martin has scored six times in the past six matches for the League One leaders to take his tally to 19 in all competitions, three of those goals coming since Holt was sent off in the 1-0 home victory over Brentford.
"We all know how good Chris is and, I've said before, I wouldn't be surprised if he catches me, the form he's in," said Holt. "Our target is a team target, to get promoted. If Chris Martin goes on and is top scorer and scores 30-odd goals I'll be absolutely made up for him because that would probably achieve promotion, which is our main goal."
Martin's superb free-kick gave City an early lead at Millwall - but it is not merely his goals that impressed the watching Holt.
"I thought his hold-up play in the first half at Millwall was fantastic," he said. "He brought people into play and that's what he's had to do the last couple of weeks. I think everyone in the squad has been saying how well he's shown the other side of his game that he's been working on."