Nerves kept Holt away from The Valley
Chris LakeyCity skipper Grant Holt has admitted he was too nervous to witness Norwich City's promotion-clinching match at Charlton last weekend. The Canaries' leading scorer was completing a two-match ban but having seen Norwich slip to a surprise defeat at Leyton Orient, he decided to give the trip to Charlton a miss.Chris Lakey
City skipper Grant Holt has admitted he was too nervous to witness Norwich City's promotion-clinching match at Charlton last weekend.
The Canaries' leading scorer was completing a two-match ban but having seen Norwich slip to a surprise defeat at Leyton Orient, he decided to give the trip to Charlton a miss. In his absence, City won 1-0 to clinch their return to the Championship at the first attempt - and he admits it was a nerve-wracking Saturday afternoon.
"It wasn't great," he said. "There's nothing worse when you're so close and you just can't be involved and it was a nervous couple of 90 minutes just sitting in the house trying not to watch the scores because I didn't want to know what was going on.
"I went to Orient on the Tuesday and that was enough for me, I was just too nervous being there so I thought I'll go home, sort the wife and kids out and try and concentrate on anything else apart from football. But it didn't work; I ended up watching Sky Sports News all afternoon anyway."
Holt is back for this weekend's home game against Gillingham when City know a point will be enough to clinch the League One title.
Until that happens, celebrations are on hold.
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"Obviously we're pleased to get promotion, but we're in a position now where we knew for the last four or five weeks that we want to win the league and since the manager came in, from day one, he said we can win the league," added Holt on a Football League podcast.
"Everyone knows what the manager's like and he wants the job done and anything else apart from winning the league will be a failure in his eyes. So it's all about keeping it on the back burner and getting the job done and then we'll party a bit then. If we get the point, obviously we will celebrate - a few of us are going to the PFA awards at the weekend so I am sure we'll be able to have a nice couple of drinks there if we clinch it, but we won't count our chickens. We have got a job to do. Gillingham are still fighting for their lives and we have got to get the point that we need."
The mastermind behind City's success has been manager Paul Lambert, a man who prefers to work away from the media glare.
"You know your boundary, you know where you stand with him," said Holt. "You respect him but you can have a laugh and a joke.
"People don't see it, that's more on the training ground. But the thing is, when he is working he is working and you know he is in a different zone. When he's doing interviews when we're playing games he's in match mode and that's what people see and thatwhat he wants his teams to show. He's a great bloke, he's done a fantastic job and we are lucky to have him
Holt added: "It's fantastic what the lads have done, they've been different class."