Norwich City boss Chris Hughton expects Grant Holt to rise to the challenge

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists Grant Holt will play a vital role in helping secure the club's Premier League status. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists Grant Holt will play a vital role in helping secure the club's Premier League status. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Monday, February 4, 2013
2:03 PM

Chris Hughton wants Grant Holt to remain the leader of the pack at Carrow Road.

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The Norwich boss expects the Hall of Fame striker to respond in positive fashion to the January transfer window arrival of Luciano Becchio and the prolonged courting of Celtic’s Gary Hooper.

Holt ploughed a lone furrow again at QPR prior to the Argentine’s late introduction and Hughton insists his captain will play a vital role in helping secure the club’s Premier League status.

“The reason I brought two strikers in was to give us more competition in the forward areas and to give us more options,” he said. “It’s been a little bit more difficult for Grant this season and, fair play to him, the system we’ve played at times has isolated him a little bit and perhaps he’s had to work a little bit more for the team. Previously he had been used to playing with two up, which would share the load a little bit. So we’re full of admiration for the job he’s doing but yes, of course, he needs help, we need options and particularly at this stage.”

Hughton is adamant every member of his existing squad would have fully backed the club’s pursuit of fresh blood in an effort to build on a solid first part of the season.

“What Grant will want to be is exactly the same as you want everybody in the team to be – they want to be Premier League players, and the only way they can be Premier League players is to make sure we stay in this division,” he said. “The only way we’ll stay in this division is to get enough results, so he is the type of player, once he gets on that pitch, his focus is about playing. There is never any harm with competition in all positions and I think particularly the striker position. It’s one where generally you are going to maybe take a striker off on 70 minutes to get a little bit of freshness. That is the one area that perhaps you do need to freshen and I think he accepts that.”

Hughton did consider introducing Becchio earlier in the piece for his Norwich debut, but resisted the temptation to replace like-for-like. The former Leeds’ striker’s cameo included a decent late penalty shout – in the view of those inside the away dressing room.

“So the lads say, yes, I must admit I have not seen it since,” said Hughton. “I did think about getting him on earlier. It is always a tough decision. I wanted to leave Grant on because at that stage we were probably giving away too many free kicks and too many corners.

“With (Bobby) Zamora and (Chris) Samba they are very prolific in the air and with Wes (Hoolahan), he can show real quality in those individual moments. I just felt we needed to get the ball forward and keep it forward in that period, but it was a tough call.”

27 comments

  • For once I agree with a suffolk troll. Holt is going down far too easily now so I can't criticise the Ronaldos of this world without saying the same about our own. Diving has no place in the game. Holty should be putting effort into raising his own game than trying to win cheap free kicks which the refs on fall for once every so often; his falling over just hands possession back to the opponents easily.

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    MontrealYella

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • DocOhNo

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • We all now that G Holt is a good all round player. But last season was a one off scoring 17 goals in the prem not many top world class player score that many I be leave that he soon will not be the number one choice striker may be play behind a striker . you just have to expect that.

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    DOBBY1970

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Three time player of the Season and top scorer, Grant Holt, hopes that Chris Hughton rises to the occasion. I have no doubts whatsoever about the attributes of Grant Holt. I believe Hoots is doing a fair job too. Just keep Holty on side. Don`t do a Bewilderwood on him.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I hope Holty is NOT being Bewilderwooded out of position. If so it`s up to Hoots to take command.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Hoots is making all the right sounds for a change to 4-4-2 for Saturday , solid performance and a few goals would do everybody a world of good .

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    mjc75

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Don't kid yourselves...of course Holt wants to score goals...he is a natural predator. Holt works tirelessly for this team, but the negative system legislates against him. He fell out with Calderwood at Forest, because he was forced out of position, and it's happening again. Holt needs to be in the centre bullying centre halves. He isnt being allowed to play that role. I really admire his ploughing that lone furrow....a team player. Now we have Becchio, maybe he can get back into that smash and grab role where he excels!!

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Good thought MJC....wITH Holt partnered with Becchio, that will give us three central strikers if Snodgrass is used to cut in from the right and shoot for goal with his left foot. Up to now that ploy hasn't produced a great deal. So it's high ball into the area----League 2 tactics..... In't that right Billy? And who gets dropped?

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    Pa Snipps

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • The arrival of Becchio gives City the opportunity to play 4 4 2 against Fulham. A winnable home game in comparison with recent matches against Chelsea, Man City and Spurs at Carrow Road. Time to go for the win and play two up?

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    Capri

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • This might prove to be controversial, but I don't think he thinks he has anything to step up to and thinks he is proven now. It just doesn't seem that he goes out there week in week out with a point to prove like he used to, and no longer has that fire in his belly - instead, something else! Maybe it's the curse of the lone striker, Morison was hated in these parts and he was nearly always the lone front man, it just seems Holt has gotten too comfortable and a bit complacent, and he doesn't seem to be worried by his goal tally, whereas before we might have seen him come out guns blazing to prove his worth.

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    Billy

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Good point,not just getting point, but stopping QPR picking up points below us. Feel bit sorry for Steve Morrison,think some fans gave him bad time which he didn't deserve Think Becchio will be good signing for city. Thought Bunn,Turner and Snodgrass were brilliant Saturday. Think Snodgrass could end up being a City legend like Huckerbury. And he is top bloke on things he put on twitter to the fans. ON THE BALL CITY!

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    Bob

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • With regards to who gets benched , don't need to worry , yet , Pilks did his hamstring so move Wes over to the left and bring Becchio in . Also Special K should be available for the impact substitution .

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    mjc75

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • If Blue Tractor had anything novel or interesting to say he'd be working in London for a national!

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    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • What the bloody hell is the point of having all these 'options' if Hughton never uses them!

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    AJB

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • On the flip side, Hughton could help him out more by employing another striker. Only once all season have I seen Hughton make a sub (injuries aside) before the 75min mark. Where he gets this 'change after 70 minutes' I don't know because he clearly doesn't use this initiative. I'm not sure what he was expecting Bechio to do with 5mins of normal time remaining, he almost seems scared to make changes.

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    MontrealYella

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Surely there's no debate on this one. Switch to 4-4-2 + have Becchio playing off Holt up front, with 2 wingers raiding the flanks, getting to the line + firing the crosses in. Then again to quote Rex Kramer in Airplane " That's just what they'll be expecting us to do...".

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    Timbo

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Grant H has done wonders for this City team since he has been here and is still doing a great job in spite of being played out of position, the way he pulls defenders away from the goal area should have been taken more advantage of by the midfield. Hooly hardly ever takes a shot thats why his score rate is so low. Yes Hooly does work very hard but is not very productive and his passing is quite poor at times. Agree with other contributors he should be on the left and give Beccio and Holt the goal scoring rolls. Come on you Yellows lets have a good win on Saturday.

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    goldie

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Montreal, is it diving? My view is that there is generally a tussle going on between strikers and defenders. Sometimes the decision goes in favour of the defender and sometimes the striker.

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    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • I'd like to see the Norwich midfield put in a few crosses Grant could rise to as well.

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    waclor

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Its time to give the new strikers there chance again Fulham on Saturday as Grant Holt still draw blank in front of goal.

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    DOBBY1970

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • 'Rising to the challenge' will be a change from diving at the slightest challenge.

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    blue tractor

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Uh-oh, the record is stuck again

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • On Saturday City have a chance to widen the gap with teams below. Wigan visit Chelsea and Southampton entertain Man City. [ Unlike the weekend just gone, where City played QPR, Reading beat Sunderland at home and .Wigan drew at home to Southampton - not forgetting Aston Villa blowing a two goal lead. ]

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    Capri

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I would just like to see us get a win on Saturday. Preferably by a couple of goals from Holtas that should take us back up to a decent buffer, and give him some joy for all the hard work he has put in. Talksport were saying that they still think we are involved in the relegation fight and, while they do spout a lot of drivel at times, I think they might have a point. Us and West Ham are just on the edge of the whirlpool.

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    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • So what needs to happen is we switch to 4-4-2 , and sack the idiot Calderwood . That , I think , would make all of us happy . I've never understood what Calderwood's role is anyway , so losing him and replacing him with a former forward can only help , just a thought .

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    mjc75

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • If city play a system that give Holt some decent deliveries into the box he will rise to the challenge but the system being played at present he is so isolated he only have scraps to feed off.

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    leslie cater

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Hear Hear! leslie cater.....I see you've been to ' Spec Savers '

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    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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