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Sunday, December 9, 2012
Had things been different, Grant Holt may have been turning out for Swansea – instead the Norwich City skipper’s love-hate relationship with the Swans faithful enjoyed another epic 90 minutes.
Two assists – as far as the Premier League statisticians were concerned – and the Canaries’ crucial third goal on the stroke of half-time capped a fine effort from Holt; certainly more fluent than his celebrationary dance moves after heading home.
“A few bids came in a few years ago while I was at Rochdale and I’m not sure how close it came, I’m not sure if they spoke to us, but since then they gone up and up, and you look now where they are and how they’re established, it’s a fantastic ground and a fantastic club,” said Holt.
“I’ve always said it’s a great place to come and I enjoy coming here because the fans are fantastic down here and certainly get behind the team.
“For some reason I’m not well liked down here but I always seem to do well. The only time I had a bad one was when I got an OG for Rochdale.
“I seem to have this love-hate with them and hopefully that will continue. I hope there’s a begrudging respect – they seem to see the best of me and I’m sure once the game is finished and once I’ve had the abuse and stick, they go away and realise I’ve done a good job again.”
Holt’s fourth goal of the season was his first since the winner over Arsenal in October – the start of the Canaries’ brilliant sequence of nine Premier League games unbeaten.
And while Swansea had been flying too, they had little answer to their visitors in the opening 45 minutes as Norwich’s first away win of the campaign inflicted the Swans’ second home defeat of the season.
“We all know how hard it is to come here and get something,” added Holt. “You could see when it when it went to 3-2 the fans nearly lifted the roof off. There are not many people that come here and get points.
“We did it last year and we came here with a game plan which started off fantastically, got the goals we needed and we expected them to come at us after half-time and they did. Snoddy got his goal at the right time, which settled us down a little bit and it’s a fantastic win.
“You’ve got to be patient here. We all know what they are about, what they are going to do. They will pass it and move it and work it around, and they are very good at it. They had a couple of chances where they probably will think they should have done better but we hung in.”
City had only one real scare, as Itay Shechter’s ‘equaliser’ was ruled out for Michu’s foul on Mark Bunn.
“The keeper had the ball so it’s a foul,” said Holt. “He was a bit quick to get the music out, so he’ll be getting hammered next week that PA man.”
But Holt could at least revel in a first goal for eight Premier League matches, ending a rare barren spell for the striker – not that he was worried: “It’s been hard work the last few weeks. I’ve had to a team job and it’s just nice to get the rewards.
“If I was missing chances week in week out, putting them over the bar and heading things wide, then I’ll take any criticism coming. But it’s not like the chances haven’t been coming – they’ve just been falling to other people and they’ve been putting them away.
“I’m happy with my performances at the moment, happy with the way I’m playing, I’m doing a good job for the team I hope and I’m sure people in around the squad can see that.”
Breaking halfway to the usual 40-point safety mark after 16 games is good news – but won’t alter City’s main aim. Not yet, at least.
“We all know the target is to get the points as quick as we can to stay up and see where it takes us from there,” Holt added. “Anyone who comes to watch us as a team will know we are working a bit more on the defensive side of things this season and you can see that from the results.
“This was probably the most expensive we’ve been, but we keep getting the same results as last season so long may that continue.”