Norwich City skipper Grant Holt delighted with win and for goal hero Kei Kamara
15:13 25 February 2013
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Norwich City skipper Grant Holt believes the Canaries’ dramatic comeback against Everton proves the spirit in the dressing room remains alive and kicking.
Holt struck in the fourth minute of injury time to help Norwich to their first league win since December as the character that took the club from League One to the top flight within three seasons shone through. However, following a run that has seen the Canaries winless in nine league matches, some fans wondered whether the togetherness that had taken them to English football’s summit had ebbed away.
Holt believes the manner of the victory against the Toffees was an emphatic response.
“We needed that – we all know that we’re together, (but) I think that everyone else needs to see it,” said Holt, whose close range strike capped City’s fightback after substitute Kei Kamara had equalised Leon Osman’s opener. “I think there are a lot of things talked about that we’re not as lively as last year as a group but I think it’s a load of rubbish.
“When you look at the way we are. You look at Kei (Kamara) for example – he has only been here about three weeks and you would think he’s been here for about two-and-a-half years.
“We’ve got a great group. We’ve got a bunch of lads that enjoy each other’s company and hopefully we can get the rewards we’ve had over the last three years.”
Saturday was a throwback to the days when City won successive promotions on the back of countless late goals.
Despite being without a goal in eight games, Holt showed he had lost none of his predatory instinct as he capitalised on Sebastien Bassong’s misjudged header to poke the ball home. The 31-year-old thought his chance to be City’s hero had gone moments earlier when Sylvain Distin blocked his goalbound effort following Russell Martin’s knockdown.
“Distin had blocked the one just before that so I just thought ‘that’s it, that’s me done’,” he said. “Then I was just hoping Seba (Bassong) would put it in! To be fair he is good in that area – he muscles his way in – there were a few lining up to put it in so I had to get in on it quickly.”
With 10 minutes to go manager Chris Hughton would have been desperate to salvage a point at the most but Kamara’s thunderous header gave City the chance to go for the jugular.
Holt admitted City could sense Everton were rocking after they had pulled themselves level despite David Moyes’ side looking relatively comfortable for the majority of the contest.
“You get a feeling sometimes,” he said. “When we got to 1-1 we got a feeling that we could get the three points. We went for it – you have to be careful because it’s Everton and you can get picked off quite comfortably but we worked well as a unit today – whenever someone bombed forward someone else sat in.”
Holt reserved special praise for Kamara, whose introduction in the 58th minute was undoubtedly a turning point. Suddenly Everton’s defence had a different type of problem to worry about with the Sierra Leone international’s pace and power causing panic at the heart of the Toffees’ back four.
Kamara’s header capped a fine display and it appears the City faithful have got a new cult hero to idolise.
“It was a great header – I was trying to nick it to be honest and get my head on it,” he said. “He was lively when he came on – he’s a bit of an unknown quantity, which is good for us.
“He brings that element of surprise and I thought he harried well.”
After scoring just once in their last six league games, Holt believes Saturday’s display could prove a turning point for the rest of the season from an offensive point of view.
“We needed that slice of luck – we haven’t had that in the last few weeks,” he added.
“Every ball that’s come in the defender has headed it. You get times like that – to get goals like we have will give the lads confidence.
“We will go away on the training ground and look to get better in certain areas and look to get better and better as the weeks go on.”