Expect to see some fireworks - Grant
PUBLISHED: 13:57 03 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:47 14 September 2010
City boss Peter Grant has warned that those close to the dug-outs may need to be issued with earmuffs when Saturday's clash with Sunderland gets into full swing.
City boss Peter Grant has warned that those close to the dug-outs may need to be issued with earmuffs when tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship clash with Sunderland gets into full swing.
The vocal Scot has already demonstrated that he is no shrinking violet when it comes to touchline battles, not least in a ding-dong with Colchester manager Geraint Williams in the 1-1 draw on Tuesday night - and tomorrow he has a certain Roy Keane in the red corner at Carrow Road.
“We've come across each other many a time. There's always been battle scars but at the end of the day you get on with it,” said Grant of the Sunderland boss.
“I think there's a mutual respect there. He wants his team to win and I'm no different. Earmuffs could be used round about the dug-out for both supporters and the rest of the staff, probably. It could be a noisy area.
“But it's not about people on the side of the pitch, it's about the teams on the pitch. Roy will be no different to me in trying to help his team from the side of the pitch. I'm just glad he's not playing.”
With Sunderland 15th in the table and City one place below, both sides have to make up for lost time if they are to have any impact in the promotion race. And both sets of players are out to impress relatively new managers.
Said Grant: “They're going to give us a major test because they're trying to prove to the manager they deserve to be playing for Sunderland Football Club. It's a club that's desperate to get back to the Premiership, like ourselves, they've got good players and a manager who was a winner himself and he's going to instil that into his players.
“He's made decisions early in his managerial career that have shown he's not scared to make decisions quickly. He's going to bring in a winning line-up, that's what he's trying to bring.”
Grant expects a battle royal from Sunderland, but wants his players to be able to match them in the physical battle then outsmart them.
“We've got be physical as well, that's what this division is all about. But now I've said to them can we match all that up and use our brains. And I think we've got boys with brains. They've just got to use them more often. I always think brains will win over brawn any time.”
Grant will wait until the last minute in the hope that at least one of his injured central defenders, Gary Doherty (back) and Craig Fleming (hamstring), may recover, but veteran Dion Dublin and 17-year-old Michael Spillane stand by to deputise.
Sunderland will be without Ross Wallace, suspended after being sent off for a second bookable offence after celebrating his winner at Hull last week by removing his shirt.
Keane is likely to make further changes after Tuesday's 2-1 home defeat by leaders Cardiff, with skipper Steve Caldwell, midfielder Graham Kavanagh and striker David Connolly all candidates for a recall.
Former Norwich goalkeeper Darren Ward is likely to keep his place.
Grant had not given up hope last night of adding a loan signing to his squad.
“Something could still happen before the weekend. I may get a couple of calls back,” he said.
He added that 'keeper Lee Camp, still on loan from Derby and on the bench against Colchester, would not be moving on just yet.
He said: “When I came in, I felt Lee had made his mind up that he wanted to go back and wasn't happy at the time. Any time you have anybody that's not happy I don't want them round about the club, but since then he's been no problem whatever and he's worked very, very hard in training. If he hadn't he wouldn't have been on the bench on Tuesday, because it would have been easy enough to put young Joe in, but Lee's been focused in that respect so as long as he's here we'll utilise him.”