We're not safe yet - Grant

PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 February 2007 | UPDATED: 10:07 14 September 2010

City boss Peter Grant said his side still had “a long way to go” to be sure of Championship football next season - though their 3-2 victory at Luton gave them a six-point cushion over the bottom three places.

City boss Peter Grant said his side still had “a long way to go” to be sure of Championship football next season - though their 3-2 victory at Luton gave them a six-point cushion over the bottom three places.

He praised his players' courage and said the fighting spirit he spoke about before the trip to Kenilworth Road had earned its reward.

“The goals we lost were awful again, but guts and determination I've always said they've had in abundance and they've had to show that because they keep shooting themselves in the foot to start with. We keep going behind and having to fight back,” said Grant.

But he knows City are still not safe from relegation.

He said: “There's a long way to go. People kept saying to me this is a six-point game but I've looked at the table and we've only got three points. I've never known a six-point game. The biggest problem is we were so many games behind everybody.

“We've got a backlog of games and the injuries we've had have not been fantastic because you never get time to rest some boys in the periods when everyone else is resting, so we're very, very pleased with the result and getting the three points.”

Simon Lappin's stoppage-time winner for once gave City the last laugh, but Grant said: “I know how Mike Newell feels because I've been there. Two or three times this season, we've lost goals in the 93rd or 94th minute. But with the resilience that the boys showed, the practice at the set plays they've done, I thought they got their just rewards.

“Both teams deserved great credit because the pitch was awful. We were fortunate to be the lucky ones to win but I thought that was down to good practice and determination and attitude and courage, which was the biggest thing tonight. I'm ecstatic for them all.”

He praised 18-year-old Chris Martin, on the scoresheet for the third time, saying: “He was outstanding right throughout the game. I thought the young kid played really well. In difficult conditions, he held the ball up well, he scored a goal, he was unlucky not to score again. We've just given him his head to play.”

Grant brought on Mark Fotheringham as a substitute for Dickson Etuhu in the second half, but defended his regular first-choice midfielder.

He said: “I just felt the game was passing him by. It was one of his poorer performances, though personally I think he's been excellent for us, though I know a lot of people don't see that. But tonight it wasn't his night.”

Injured trio Dion Dublin, Chris Brown and Peter Thorne, all ruled out last night, are almost certain to miss Saturday's trip to Barnsley.

“I'll be lucky to have any of them back for the next couple of weeks,” said Grant.

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