City's huge debt to 30-goal Holt

Norwich City will owe a “huge debt of gratitude” to striker Grant Holt if they book their return ticket to the Championship.That's the view of former Manchester United and Leeds star Andy Ritchie.

Norwich City will owe a “huge debt of gratitude” to striker Grant Holt if they book their return ticket to the Championship.

That's the view of former Manchester United and Leeds star Andy Ritchie.

Ritchie watched the Canaries beat Leeds 1-0 at Carrow Road two weeks ago, since when Holt has bagged goals against Tranmere and Stockport in the Easter fixtures.

Writing his blog on the Football League website, Ritchie said: “It was a typically busy Easter weekend of action but the story that stood out for me was Grant Holt's winner for Norwich against Stockport at Carrow Road, a result which took the Canaries one crucial step closer to promotion and Grant to 30 goals for the season.


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“It is the first time a Norwich player has reached the 30-goal mark for the club since 1964 and if the Canaries do go up, they will owe Grant a huge debt of gratitude. He's been superb for Paul Lambert's side all season and deserves all the plaudits that have been coming his way.

“Essentially he's an old-fashioned centre forward, a big strong bustling lad who leads the line well and has a good touch. The modern game is sometimes obsessed with speed merchants and it's nice to see a player being successful without relying heavily on pace.

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“For me, Holt, Swindon's Billy Paynter and Southampton's Rickie Lambert have been League One's standout strikers this season. They're similar types of player and I think all three would cut the mustard in the Championship if they were given the opportunity.”

Ritchie also questioned the wisdom of City's next opponents, Leyton Orient, changing their manager so late in the season with Geraint Williams sacked and replaced by Russell Slade.

“I know Geraint and I'm disappointed for him because he is a very diligent, hard-working coach but Orient obviously felt it was time for a change and with six games left to play, they will be praying Russell can provide a spark and get them out of trouble,” said Ritchie.

The Canaries visit Orient on Tuesday night in a match of great significance for both clubs.

“The Os are only just above the relegation places, ahead of Tranmere on goal difference and in real danger of slipping out of the division,” said Ritchie.

“It's a huge challenge facing Russell and only time will tell whether his appointment was the right decision.

“Personally, I'm not a great believer in changing managers at such a late stage of the season. Of course, there are plenty of examples of similar decisions bearing fruit but equally there have been many incidents when replacing the manager has not worked out and the side has been relegated. The truth is, it is always a big gamble.”

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