Worst performance I've seen - Grant
CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant pulled no punches after Norwich City produced one of the most humiliating performances in recent memory to leave them languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship table.
Peter Grant pulled no punches after Norwich City produced one of the most humiliating performances in recent memory to leave them languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship table.
The Canaries went down 2-0 at Wolves where they ended the match with just nine men after skipper Jason Shackell and French midfielder Julien Brellier saw red.
But the game had been lost long before they went, leaving the Canaries manager struggling to explain what is going wrong at Carrow Road.
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Grant described it as “very, very poor”, “embarrassing” and “the worst performance I have seen as a coach” - but claimed lack of finances meant there was little he could do except work with the current squad in an attempt to iron out some huge problems.
There was, he said, nothing that could be taken from a 90-minute performance which bore a frighteningly close comparison to those produced by City in the final, dark days of the Nigel Worthington era exactly 12 months ago.
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“Not one - a very, very poor afternoon to say the least, from start to finish,” said a clearly shell-shocked Grant. “It was as tough an afternoon as you will probably get.
“I have been on the coaching side, what, six or seven years now and it is probably as bad a performance I have seen from any team I have been involved with.
“It makes it difficult because you keep saying about them that they work hard in their training, they prepared properly, they got all the information, but at the end of the day if you can't do your own job properly you will never do a thing in football. Probably the only pleasing thing was it was only 2-0.”
Grant's problem is clearly transferring the quality from the training pitch to the match-day situation.
“If I went round saying he will do this job he will do that job, you'd see them everyday and say, 'oh, he does that job well. But for whatever reason when the white curtains go back to go and perform on the pitch they are not performing,” he said.
“That is everybody - big players are not performing, not doing what they are good at. We are not creating any chances, we are not getting on the ball to create, we are giving the ball away cheaply, all the basics. If you don't do the basics right in life never mind in football you have not got a hope in hell.
“You don't give yourself a chance - if you don't give yourself a chance you have absolutely no chance of winning a game of football and that is with doing what you are good at, doing that proper and doing that well.
“You can't wait for things to happen, you can't wait for other guys to take the mantle up and lift you, you have got to be prepared for that as a footballer, you have got to be prepared for that in your mind at every game. It is not about the last game, it is not about the next game it is about the game you are involved in at the moment in time and then doing it consistently to give yourself the confidence, because if you hide away from it you will never get confident because you will be asked to do something in a game and if you're waiting for somebody else to do it for you, you lose possession and all of a sudden your confidence starts waning.
“So you are saying how do you lift them? You just keep preparing them properly, in the hope that they take on board what you asking them to do and you hope that they do their individual jobs well because that's the only way you get out of it.
“It is no use putting your head in the sand and crying about it because that's not going to make it any better. You have to stand up, it is tough times, there is no doubt about that.”
Despite the capitulation, Grant insisted there was quality in his squad, although he admitted the current playing staff was not good enough to win the Championship.
We are still more than capable of playing much, much better than we did today,” he said. “The players are capable of much more, but whether we have the quality to win the Championship, that is a completely different question.”
Grant's selection options are limited by finances.
“Any option? If I have got £3½m, £4½m to spend on one player that some clubs can do at this level. We have to try and do it a different way - but I knew that before I came, so you have to try and build it in a different way.
“The first thing you try and do, you look at it and say be more solid, you try and do that, you try to build from that way. But for the amount of money it is going to cost to bring the players in that I would want to bring in, I don't know if I have got that available.”