Holt relishes righting a wrong

Norwich City striker Grant Holt admitted his injury time winner against Reading tasted that much sweeter due to the sense of injustice he felt from events at the Madejski Stadium in November.

Holt saw red for a challenge on Ian Harte in that fixture in an incident that changed the course of the game as City surrendered a 3-1 lead to leave Berkshire with just a point.

But Holt, whose red card was later rescinded, felt justice was done on Saturday when his close range strike in the 94th minute broke Reading's hearts and sent Carrow Road into raptures.

'There was a little bit of needle from last time,' said Holt, whose goal took his personal tally to 14 for the season. 'It wasn't even a sending off. But it's sweeter to come out today and turn the tables to get the win.

'But it's not about them, we say that every week. We never look ahead – we knew we had to win today, we've got a belief that we don't get beat two in a row and it has continued.'


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The old saying goes that decisions even themselves out over the course of the season and, for once perhaps, this actually came true.

Jem Karacan's dismissal for a late challenge on David Fox gave City the impetus they needed to get the three points while not many people would disagree that Jay Tabb should have had a penalty at the start of the second half after being pulled back by Fox.

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'I didn't see the red card, I was too busy going to get the ball,' added Holt. 'The lad has gone in with a bit of momentum so it evens itself out.

'We had one which was very harsh at their place and they managed to get a draw so sometimes it evens itself out.

'I think we've been unfortunate in the last few weeks in terms of some of the decisions but today we got them.'

It looked like being one of those days after Shane Long had pulled Reading level after Henri Lansbury's opener as a combination of poor finishing and an inspired goalkeeping display by Adam Federici kept the Canaries at bay.

Holt even had a golden chance just before his winner when put through one-on-one with the Royals' keeper but once again the Australian international pulled off an excellent save.

'I thought the referee was going to blow after that chance but we just kept going. It was a fantastic save, I thought it was past him. You do get to the point where you wonder if it's going to go for you.

'He (Federici) has saved a couple in the first half and then you think that maybe that it's going to be one of those days.

'He has done really well for them but we keep going. We kept getting in the box and we got our chance.'

Holt's late show was the seventh time City have scored in time added on but he insists there is no secret behind it – just good team spirit and a determination to keep going.

'I'm a big believer when you've got a team spirit and a work ethic like we have that has been instilled into us then you get what you deserve.

'We've got a great belief and spirit in this squad. We want to entertain and we want to win games. I think anyone that has followed us will know that we go to any ground and we don't change our gameplan. We go to win games. You can see that we nearly threw it away – they hit us on the counter. But the manager doesn't take second best – he expects the highest standards every week.'

With Swansea, Cardiff and Leeds all picking up victories, Holt's winner took on even more importance but nothing has changed as far as the skipper is concerned.

City can only affect what they do and will only be looking as far ahead as next Saturday's trip to Elland Road despite fans starting to dream of another promotion campaign.

'We never look ahead. We only look at the next game – we've beaten Reading today and that's done now.

'We will worry about Elland Road now and rectify what happened there last year. We can't look that far ahead – there are a lot of games left. You can see by looking at Forest how well they have done in the last few weeks and how quickly you can be lower down the division to being in the play-offs.

'We take it game by game and we will see where it takes us. We are punching above our weight and I think a few people wrote us off at the start of the season and didn't expect us to do much.

'Sometimes if you do look ahead that's when you get caught out. We knew what we wanted last year, we were a long way behind but all we worried about was the next game.'

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