Has Grant scored an own goal?
PUBLISHED: 11:02 27 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:51 14 September 2010
Manager Peter Grant will find out tomorrow night if he has scored a spectacular own goal after launching into a scathing attack on Norwich City supporters following the 1-1 draw at home to Hull - labelling their level of vocal support as a "disgrace".
Manager Peter Grant will find out tomorrow night if he has scored a spectacular own goal after launching into a scathing attack on Norwich City supporters following the 1-1 draw at home to Hull - labelling their level of vocal support as a “disgrace”.
Just six weeks after being named as the new boss at Carrow Road - since when the Canaries have chalked up four wins and two draws from eight Coca-Cola Championship games - Grant claimed the crowd's failure to pump up the volume in the final 15 minutes had contributed to the loss of two vital points as the Tigers snatched a stoppage-time equaliser through Michael Turner.
His outburst at Saturday's post-match Press conference could make for a rough reception when Leicester visit Carrow Road tomorrow (7.45pm).
Grant said he understood fans' subdued mood at the start of the game after the 3-1 derby defeat at Ipswich, but expected more noise after Robert Earnshaw had given City a 71st-minute lead.
He said: “We were disappointing last week and I understand that and I said that to the players. Because if I paid to watch it, I'd be disappointed. I'd be looking for a lift from them.
“And I think they gave them that. Fifteen bloody minutes to go and we're 1-0 up and we want to win the game. We need a little bit of help. They got that commitment, they got that passion but they (the players) never got anything back in return. Not for 94 minutes did they get anything in return, and for me that's a disgrace.”
Roy Blower, chairman of Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association, labelled Grant's words unacceptable.
“The fans were obviously reserved after the desperate performance at Ipswich and it is difficult to engender vocal support when you see some of the abject displays from some of the players,” he said. “I am not one of those who goes along with the boo boys. I think it is counter-productive, but having said that there were one or two players who didn't appear to be interested in the game and that is a sad reflection.
“I don't want to get into confrontation with Peter Grant. I want to give him 110 per cent support, but any more comments like that and he will lose the support of the fans.”
Grant's verdict on the game - “definitely two points dropped, only one team deserved to win” - was followed by his assertion that the crowd should have “pushed us over the line”.
He said: “They talk about passion, commitment, everything else. I thought we got that in abundance, which we didn't have last week.
“You get letters from supporters asking that all the time, but I thought they let us down badly today.
“We went one-nothing up, we're hanging on to it at the end and they're giving everything they've got and I think it cost us because of the fact they were scared to put the ball in the corner in case they were criticised for it.
“With two minutes to go, we try a stupid pass inside and it cost us dearly against a team that shouldn't have been on the same pitch as us because of the way we played.
“We had somebody as a target playing up front but we still went for that extra pass square and it's cost us dearly. If we'd just knocked it in behind the full-back, the game was over and we'd have had the three points I thought we thoroughly deserved.
“I just thought it was an old Norwich trait, which drives me up the wall, because I was here as a player and I know it used to drive me nuts when somebody tried to put an extra pass.
“How Hull got away with that, it's embarrassing, to say they got away today with a point.
“There weren't too many clear-cut chances but you're talking about winning games and a reaction to what we did last week. We were awful last week. You look for a response from your players and I thought we got a response from them and, as I say, I'm their biggest critic, but today I've got to criticise the support because they never got behind us.
“In the second half I thought there were things we were doing well, we went one-nothing up, and somebody needs to shove you over the line, which we've had here. The support here has been excellent, it's been excellent away from home, and I keep getting letters about passion and commitment. Is it only one way? No, not when I'm in charge.
“I'm looking at the support and thinking to myself, I remember playing here as a player and what cost us the game today was typical Norwich.
“We're scared to knock the ball behind the full-back with a minute to go because we think that's not the Norwich way. That's the winning way, that's the difference and we've got to understand that, how to win the game.
“Hull had one ball, they played it all day - just bang it down just behind your full-back and how they got away with getting a point from this game beggars belief.
“I said to the players today I'd expect our fans to be sitting on their hands for the first half-hour of the game - no problem with that. But you've got to understand there's a period in the game where they're going to need you and we did not get that today. We needed it when we were 1-0 up, we're digging in there, with minutes to go, they're still sitting there quiet.
“People are going to make mistakes, that's football, but they could have pushed us over the line, there's no doubt in my mind of that.”