Boss wants more goals from defensive duo

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:08 14 September 2010

Peter Grant has challenged Norwich's imposing central defensive pair Jason Shackell and Gary Doherty to hit the goal trail. Shackell notched his second for the club in the space of a week during Tuesday's timely 3-2 Championship win at Luton after opening his senior account with a flashing near post header at Preston.

Peter Grant yesterday challenged Norwich's imposing central defensive pair Jason Shackell and Gary Doherty to hit the goal trail.

Shackell notched his second for the club in the space of a week during Tuesday's timely 3-2 Championship win at Luton after opening his senior account with a flashing near post header at Preston.

Versatile defensive partner Doherty has yet to register this season. The Republic of Ireland international's last goal in Canary colours was a winning strike in a 2-1 home victory over Hull back in September 2005.

“The likes of Shacks and Docs should be chipping in six, seven, eight goals a season,” said Grant. “I've no doubt in my mind about that. It's very pleasing that we are now getting people on the end of things because since I came in I've said the same thing all along - our centre backs don't score enough goals.

“Look at Malky (Mackay) and what he did when he was here - he was a prime example. He'd score important goals in tight games which were usually decided on set plays.

“I'm always on at them to do more. Just because you wear number four or five and you play centre back is no excuse. Just see how the likes of John Terry operate. He goes and throws himself at headers in the box. That is the only way you're going to score goals.

“Shacks' has got a great physical presence and you can see he's now attacking those crosses. Both him and Docs are great headers' of the ball and I want to see more of that.”

Grant's meticulous training ground set piece regime is slowly beginning to pay dividends - Simon Lappin's curling stoppage time free kick winner at Kenilworth Road the latest instalment.

“Our delivery in the last four to six weeks has been excellent,” said the City boss. “I was actually disappointed we didn't score with two headers in the first half at Luton. If people were in the proper positions to the ones I shown them the day before then they'd have had tap ins - so in that respect we still have things to work on.

“It's not something we've suddenly decided to start doing. It's just a case of getting the players to believe. Games can be won and lost on set plays. It's a massive, massive part and the players understand that.”

The Canaries' chief also paid tribute to coaching duo Martin Hunter and Jim Duffy.

“Great credit to the work being done by Martin and Jim,” he said. “Ask any footballer - whether they're at Man United, Barcelona, wherever - what's the worst part of training and they'd probably say doing set pieces. You're standing about, moving players' into positions and it's about take one, take two, take 27 until you get the thing right.”

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