Gallacher: Grant's turned things around

DAVID CUFFLEY Paul Gallacher completed his fourth clean sheet under Peter Grant then saluted the City boss for “getting a lot more” out of his senior players.


Paul Gallacher completed his fourth clean sheet under Peter Grant then saluted the City boss for “getting a lot more” out of his senior players.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper made three important saves in Saturday's 1-0 Coca-Cola Championship win at West Bromwich Albion to register another shut-out to follow those against Birmingham, Port Vale and Sunderland - ideal preparation for a big double date.

Gallacher is in the Scotland squad for tomorrow's B international against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, and he already has one eye on Sunday's East Anglian derby at Portman Road.

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But he was happy to give credit to others for tightening up the Canaries' rearguard, even if they needed a bit of assistance from the woodwork at The Hawthorns.

Gallacher said: “We've needed a bit of luck because of late we've lost a few late goals despite playing quite well, so today we've got the rub of the green.

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“But we're a lot more solid now. The gaffer's come in and done really well, worked hard with us. It's the same bunch of players, but he's getting a lot more out of us now and that's shown on the park with the 1-0 victories.”

Dion Dublin and Jason Shackell have formed the latest central defensive combination in front of Gallacher, who said of Dublin: “He's come in and done absolutely fantastic. He was superb today, yet again, some of his clearances and blocks.

“He's put himself on the line, he's been brilliant. We've got a lot of good defenders at the club and I think whoever we put in they'll do a great job for us. I've made a couple of saves, and I'm happy enough with that.

“The boys did really well, defended really well, so whenever I get to chip in with a few saves I'm obviously delighted. It's a step in the right direction and we'll build from it for next week.”

Gallacher was left out by Grant in favour of on-loan Jamie Ashdown for two Championship matches, but earned praise from the manager for his reaction to the disappointment.

Said Gallacher: “The gaffer came in and he felt he had to make a change for whatever reason, so I just sat by and watched from the side.

“But in training I worked hard, just had to get my head down and got an opportunity to come back in and I feel I've played quite well, so I'm just delighted to be playing for Norwich.

“Tomorrow I'm away with the Scotland B squad. It's another chance to get a game at international level, so I'm looking forward to that. But at the back of my mind, I've get next week's derby to look forward to that.

“I've played for Dundee United against Dundee and there's fierce rivalry up there so I've played in some big games, but I'm looking forward to this one and if I'm involved I'll give it my best.”

Wales international Robert Earnshaw's 11th goal of the season, against his former club, secured City's victory, and Gallacher was full of praise for the striker.

“As for Earnie, I'm absolutely delighted for him. He's taken his chance. He's come back here under a lot of pressure and he's produced the goods on the day so I'm delighted for him and delighted for Norwich City,” he said.

Earnshaw, given a warm reception by his former club's fans, said: “I wanted to score, but more importantly it is nice to get the winner, especially coming back here. You want to win, but you want to do well when you come back.

“It is crazy how many times people come to their old clubs and end up scoring the winner.

“I was happy today, but I lost count of how many times they hit the bar or the post, so we were a bit lucky, but it was a great win.

He said of his headed goal: “The ball was over my head. I knew the only place to hit it was the far post to give myself a chance so I was lucky it went in. I didn't even see it - as I fell over I sort of banged my head so I saw the ball on the floor.”

t Norwich City Reserves take on Southend's second string at Carrow Road tonight (7.30pm) in the Pontins Holidays Combination.

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