Holt - We’ll give the Premier League plenty of problems

Norwich City skipper Grant Holt says the Canaries are out to prove they belong in the Premier League.

City step up their pre-season plans with tonight's trip to Crystal Palace (7.30pm) – the first of three friendlies this week against Football League opposition. Paul Lambert's side have predictably been tipped to make a swift return to the Championship – but Holt is adamant they can hold their own in the top flight.

'You certainly can't go into this league thinking I don't belong here,' he said. 'We've been promoted and the reason we got promoted is because we are a good side.

'It's funny when you read the papers and you see, 'he's paying �28m for him or �50m for him and figures like that,' but it doesn't really matter.

'We know what that league is like. You look at other teams in it, not the big four, and they can't go out and spend that money either.

'The manager has bought well. He has been clever and brought in the players he feels can help the squad. The quality is definitely there and the club as a whole is now in a position where 24 months ago it couldn't have perhaps expected to be with the financial position. The money helps, but we still need to do it the right way to achieve what we want to achieve.'

Holt believes clinching automatic promotion last season proved anything is possible.

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'You just have to do your own thing,' he said, 'A lot of people doubted us last year and thought we would be at the bottom of the Championship and we got promoted.

'You have to go there with the belief that you are going to do a job. The manager will tell you - he never goes to make up the numbers. He'll be trying to win every game, like he has tried to do for the last two years.

'With the belief and the drive that he puts into you, we'll be giving it our best shot. I'm sure we'll give the league plenty of problems.

'There are a lot of lads in the squad who have taken a long time to get there and they are hungry to get involved. We have great quality and the manager has added to that again. Let's wait and see when we get there and see how it goes.'

Holt's sole aim despite plundering 45 league goals in 84 games for the Canaries is to make sure he is in the starting line-up for the club's Premier League bow at Wigan.

'I've just got to get a game first because he has brought in a lot of players,' he said. 'I'll just worry about getting my place and once I get that we'll see from there.

'He has brought in some fantastic players and even someone like Steve (Morison) is very different to myself, Vaughny (James Vaughan) is different to Jacko (Simeon Jackson), so we have got that good balance.

'As a striker you know someone like Elliott (Bennett) if he gets an opportunity will put some fantastic balls in and from what I have seen of Pilks (Anthony Pilkington) he looks a good acquisition. You need that.

'Look at any squad in the Premier League, the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal and they never play the same team twice, they are always changing and against different teams, you play different formations. That is why the manager has brought in different options and when you play, you have to do your best.'

Holt is confident City's winning formula in securing back-to-back promotions can withstand the ultimate test.

'You can't change what has got us there, really, and that is a work ethic and a group of lads who want to win and want to pull for each other,' he said.

'The manager has done that and he is very selective with who he brings in and if he feels they won't do that then he won't add them to the bunch. That is always part of the criteria of who he signs and it is fantastic for the club.

'We've been working on just playing the way we play, trying to get the ball in a little bit quicker, work on the formation and things like that.

'This is what pre-season is all about – to try different things and different strategies. It doesn't matter about what opposition you face. It's about getting a way that works and learning how to use that.

'I'm sure the manager will be using different formations, different tactics, different players this year. It doesn't really matter as long as we achieve the goal we want, then its fine.'

Tonight's match at Selhurst Park will be City's first genuine pre-season test after the gentle warm-ups at Gorleston and in Germany.

Dougie Freedman's side, who flirted with relegation from the Championship last season before finishing in 20th position, have had a solid build-up so far, with wins over the part-timers of East Grinstead (4-0) and Basingstoke (2-1) and goalless draws against Wycombe and League new-boys Crawley Town.

With all those games taking place away a number of new signings could be making their home debuts against City tonight, including former Brighton striker Glen Murray and Australian international midfielder Mile Jedinak, who joined the Eagles in the summer after a spell playing in Turkey.

Tickets for tonight's game will be available on the night, priced �10 for adults and �5 for concessions.

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