Fitness gamble pays off for Norwich City skipper Holt

Norwich skipper Grant Holt insisted nothing was going to stop him from reigniting the Canaries’ Championship promotion push in last night’s thrilling 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.

Holt limped out of the midweek league draw at Watford with a hamstring tear, but declared himself fit to face his former club little more than 72 hours later before dragging Paul Lambert’s men level with a trademark first-half header.

The skipper then teed up Andrew Surman to seal the priceless win prior to the interval after Nathan Tyson’s freak ricochet had embarrassed John Ruddy.

Holt revealed his decision to play was a ‘gamble’ after passing an early-morning fitness test to spearhead City’s attack in a victory which moved Lambert’s side back into the automatic promotion places – two points clear of Cardiff.

He said: “We had a test on the morning and it kind of went alright. I had the tear in the hamstring, but I felt it was worth the gamble and thankfully it paid off. I hit a couple of balls and did a few turns but you have to do these things. You have to get through matches. I was just pleased to get through the 90 minutes and get the win. I think everyone knows who makes the final call, but the manager knows if I tell him I’m fit, I’m fine. He knows what I’ll do and that I’ll grit my teeth and get through it. It was the right decision.

“I’ve got to rest up and make sure I am right for next week now. I wanted to play and it was one of those where the games are running out. I need to play, I need to keep doing it and trying to help the lads along.”

Holt has no plans to spend a Saturday afternoon anxiously awaiting news of City’s promotion rivals.

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He said: “I’ll probably have the children all over me so I won’t see anything. I’ll have a look at 5pm to see how they have done but we don’t need to really. I’ve said it many times if we just worry about us then we won’t be far off.

“We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we went to Swansea last week after everyone had played and it was hard. Now we’ve put a statement out and a marker down. We’re ahead at the moment and they’ve got to catch up – albeit it’s maybe only for 24 hours but they’re the ones who have to look at the points and see we have won.”

Holt paid tribute to David Fox for the pinpoint delivery which saw him power home his 20th of the league campaign to cancel out Tyson’s bizarre opener.

He said: “It was a great ball from Foxy and we have players like that all over the pitch. It’s a massive win for us. We said a point at Watford and then a win here and we wouldn’t be far off.”