Holt still aiming for top spot

Norwich City striker Grant Holt believes it is time the club shrugged off their 'over-achiever' tag and focused on maintaining their drive for the Premier League.

Defeat to Burnley saw the Canaries slip out of the automatic promotion places but Holt refused to hide behind the fact they had just been beaten by a side that was fighting for their lives in the Premier League 12 months ago.

Holt doesn't want to see the chance of promotion slip by and is not content to merely be in the play-off mix – the former Shrewsbury man has still got his eyes on shooting down QPR from the top of the table.

'We are always looking forward – QPR are the team to catch and that's who we are looking at,' said Holt, whose second half equaliser on Saturday was his 13th of the season in all competitions. 'People keep saying that we're over-achieving but we're there now.

'With the players and the management that we've got, we want to win the league. We know we are in a position where we can do that. No-one expected us to be up there and we are.


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'Everybody is looking at those top two spots and it's nice to be up there. People are saying that we shouldn't be there but we're playing well and we will see where it takes us.

'If we can stay up there, it would be fantastic. We don't worry about what anyone outside the club says.'

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There looked to be only one winner after Holt's superb strike erased the memory of a poor first half performance from the Canaries and they had enough chances to secure all three points.

Norwich could smell victory but were undone by Jay Rodriguez's close range strike and Holt believes his side were, for once, caught out in their determination to find a winner.

'We'll learn from it – we maybe should have shut up shop a little bit,' said Holt, whose side tasted defeat on the road for the first time since October at Cardiff. 'But it was a good performance – I was pleased with the boys.

'The manager has instilled a belief that we can win every game. We never come and play one up front and sit in boring and play for a point. We did exactly the same today and I think we were unfortunate not to get the three points. The lads are disappointed with the defeat but we will look at the positives. We've got a couple of fantastic games coming up at Carrow Road to push ourselves back up.'

Holt believes a poor refereeing decision was to blame for Burnley's winner with the skipper being penalised for an innocuous looking challenge on Tyrone Mears resulting in a free kick out wide which led to the goal.

With City also having justified claims for a penalty when Russell Martin's shot was handled by Michael Duff along with a potential foul on Simeon Jackson in the build-up to Burnley's opener, it is fair to say Norwich did not enjoy the rub of the green at Turf Moor.

However, Holt refused to lay all the blame at the door of the officials.

'I don't want to harp on about refereeing decisions, I think people have been doing that a bit too much lately,' he added.

'But some of his decisions were strange. Russ (R Martin) said that it was a blatant handball and knowing Russ the way he is you've got to take his word for that.

'I think the free-kick for the goal was never a free-kick. The linesman has flagged for no reason and he has not had the best of afternoons.

'But they are there to do a job and it's a tough job. You can't just bash referees every week – it's a very hard job.'

Holt is looking for a reaction from his side next weekend at home to Reading when manager Paul Lambert's record of never having lost two consecutive league games in the same season during his time at Carrow Road will be firmly put to the test.

Holt believes the team spirit that has been established under Lambert's tenure will see Norwich bounce back.

'We've got a togetherness. The manager has got a squad of players who are a fantastic bunch of lads to play and work with. When you've got your friends next to you, you want to work as hard as you can for them. We've got a fantastic team spirit and we'll look forward to next week now.'

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