Gary Holt - Norwich City will make their mark
Paddy Davitt Norwich's new assistant academy manager Gary Holt is backing Paul Lambert's men to make a big impression in the Championship. Holt made his first official appearance since returning to his former club during last night's 2-0 friendly defeat for a youthful Norwich XI at neighbours King's Lynn Town.
Norwich's new assistant academy manager Gary Holt is backing Paul Lambert's men to make a big impression in the Championship.
Holt made his first official appearance since returning to his former club during last night's 2-0 friendly defeat for a youthful Norwich XI at neighbours King's Lynn Town.
City's one time all action midfielder knows exactly what it takes to succeed at Championship level with the Canaries after reaching the play-off final and winning a title during his four year spell at Carrow Road.
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Lambert drafted in his compatriot last week to work alongside the first team squad ahead of their German training camp and the Scot believes they are well equipped to thrive in the second tier.
“It's not an easy league and it's probably harder than when I played in it but they are a good bunch and the management have signed a good calibre of players to add to that,” said Holt. “You need that luck, you need to stay relatively injury free to have a settled side and you need the players not to get down on themselves if things don't go there way. At times it won't go right but its how you bounce back and how you react. They bounced back last year and I'm sure it will continue this season and they will do very well.
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“Every team who has been promoted, by and large, does really well the following season - especially the ones with that winning mentality. Whether it ends up in play-offs or winning it, who knows? It's always good to know that we won the league last year so we must be a decent side. That is certainly the right mentality to make things easier, rather than perhaps having scrapped away in a relegation battle and survived in the last game or two of the season.”
Holt admitted he is still coming to terms with calling time on his own playing days after a successful spell last season at non league Lowestoft.
“I played a pre-season game on Saturday but Lowestoft know my situation. I won't be available as often as I was last year,” he said. “It's hard to stop when it's not through injury but through work commitments. I've been looking for this type of opportunity to come along for the last four or five months. I had managed to do the first part of my 'A' licence, which certainly opens some more doors for you.
“In football the legs don't keep going forever so you have to look at what the next step is and I enjoy coaching and I hope to be able to pass on anything I can. It was Ian Culverhouse I spoke to and that kind of set the ball rolling and through that came the offer to work at Norwich and I am over the moon. It's something that I want to get my teeth into and learn from Ricky (Martin) but I know I have a long way to go.”
Holt shadowed Martin for the first time at The Walks as Lynn Town's greater experience told with Jack Defty and Brady Stone on the mark in each half.
“We knew they wouldn't be a mug side who were coming here to make up the numbers,” he said. “But I was pleased with our boys. If you look at the side we had out, there was five 16-year-olds started the game, five started the second half and we finished with a 14-year-old who has school in the morning so this was the first game playing against proper men.
“We had a few chances and of course it's always nice to get a win but we came through with no injuries and they were quite hurt afterwards sat in the changing room. They care. It's not a case that it's pre-season and it doesn't matter and that is nice to see.”