Audio: Grant Holt hails massive win for Norwich City
Match-winner Grant Holt hailed Norwich City’s victory over their fellow Premier League new boys on Saturday as “massive”.
Ahead at half-time thanks to Russell Martin’s opener, Queens Park Rangers deservedly levelled on the hour through Luke Young as the visitors took charge.
But it was Paul Lambert’s 70th minute introduction of Holt and Wes Hoolahan that proved decisive, as three minutes later the pair combined to restore City’s lead and make it six points from six against their rivals from the Championship last season.
“It was massive; we knew we needed the points, we needed to put in a performance and we certainly did that – sometimes it wasn’t pretty but we got the job done and we got the three points,” said Holt.
“I think when all these teams are around you and you’re vying for the same position, these wins are massive. Obviously the ones like at Manchester City next week or when we went to Old Trafford and Anfield, anything you get there is a bonus.
“The bread and butter is that mini league that is all around you. I think if we keep taking points off the teams around us we will be fine. We were off the back of two points in four, and these three will do us a massive favour.”
Fresh from coming on, Holt saw his close-range header cleared off the line – seconds before flicking the ball home from Hoolahan’s teasing delivery.
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“It’s never easy when you are getting to the back stick and trying to put all your power on and, to be fair the lad has done well – it’s a good job it didn’t hit his arm because otherwise I don’t think Neil Warnock (QPR manager) would be too happy.
“But we keep going and when Wes is in that situation, I’ve played with him long enough now so I stand still while he does his first three tricks and then you just wait for the cross.
“So you get to know his little ways and he was fantastic when he came on – that’s Wes at his best, when he’s picking up positions and driving and dragging the team on.”
Lambert’s starting XI raised eyebrows – with club captain Holt having to make do with a role from the bench for the eighth time in the Premier League this season.
But he has no problem with that under a manager with a happy knack of making the right changes at the right time.
“That’s what the manager has got (the ability to change things), that’s why he brings in the squad and you look at it – he brought Simeon (Jackson) in and (Andrew) Surman, and I thought they were fantastic the way they worked up and down; it’s never easy when you haven’t played for a while,” said Holt, whose fourth goal of the season drew him level with Anthony Pilkington and Steve Morison in City’s scoring stakes.
“He’s put me and Wes on and he just tells you to go and do what he expects of you. The manager, with the way he is, whether you are on from the start, you come on for 45 or you come on for five, you give the same performance because he won’t let you slip and that’s what we did.”