Grant: It's not just Chopra

PUBLISHED: 07:30 10 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:09 14 September 2010

City boss Peter Grant insists it is not the 'Michael Chopra' show in today's Championship trip to Cardiff.

City boss Peter Grant insists it is not the 'Michael Chopra' show in today's Championship trip to Cardiff.

Grant has huge respect for the 21-goal top gun, but cautions the play-off chasing Welsh outfit can hurt his side all over the park.

“He's a terrific player,” admitted Grant. “But to score the goals he has also means he is getting the service so we know they are a good side. I always felt when he was at Newcastle that, given a chance, he'd score because he has that ability.

“It makes me laugh when people say he hadn't scored for a while recently - like it was 20 games or something. I think he was injured for one match and then picked up a suspension.

“You can see just by the enjoyment on his face that he loves scoring. I know the boy Steven Thompson who plays alongside him very well from his time in Scotland and he's a good foil.”

Grant refuses to read anything into Cardiff's late 1-0 defeat against title contenders Birmingham on St Andrews' marsh last time out.

“If you'd gone to that game and not known the league positions you'd have thought Cardiff were the ones going top,” said Grant. “In general play they were the better side on the day. Birmingham got the break of the ball - that's what happens when you are at the top. Derby got it the other night in our game.”

Grant introduced Dion Dublin for a late second-half cameo against the Rams after his recent calf injury. Stephen Bywater's acrobatic tip-over denied City's talisman a comeback strike, but Grant is poised to handle his veteran with care.

“He feels great in himself and there was no adverse effects,” said Grant. “I would have to say, yes, he is ready to start because he's back in training and involved. From my own experience I know you've got to be very, very careful with picking up injuries the older you get.

“When I got to 37, 38, 39 a calf injury was one of the first ones I had and it just felt difficult. It's important not to push him. Even without the injury playing 90 minutes in quick succession would be a big ask.”

The Canaries' chief must also decide whether to recall out-of-favour keeper Paul Gallacher. The Scot has been left out of City's two latest squads following the loan arrival of Tony Warner, with Grant opting for youngster Joe Lewis to provide back-up.

“I've already spoken about the Paul Gallacher situation,” he said. “He knows the reasons behind my decision. Players are never happy to be left out, but he is a great pro and he has been working terrifically hard.”

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