Grant: Destiny is in our own hands

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant insisted Norwich City have the players to pull them out of a relegation battle - even though he has only now written off their chances of a play-off spot.


Peter Grant yesterday insisted Norwich City have the players to pull them out of a relegation battle - even though he has only now written off their chances of a play-off spot.

Grant claimed that until Saturday's lacklustre 1-1 draw at home to Coventry, he still believed he could take City into one of the prized top six positions in the Championship.

Only the loss of two valuable home points finally convinced him the dream was over as City slipped to 18th, just three points above the relegation zone and six off the bottom spot.

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However, Grant insists their destiny is in their own hands, with battle commencing at Luton tonight and continuing at Barnsley on Saturday - two games in a four-day spell against teams below City in the table that could decide where they are playing their football next season.

While supporters at Carrow Road on Saturday were clearly nervous at the prospect of being sucked into a dogfight at the bottom, Grant said relegation was not on his agenda.

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"At the end of the day we know we have got to win games of football," he said. "If I said to you, 'we have two games in hand and unfortunately the way things have worked out for us we've done this', it becomes an excuse.

"We know what we have to do, but I can't look at what might be. We have got to just focus on what we can do.

"The most pleasing thing is that everything is in our hands, everything, nobody else's, and it is what we do that is going to dictate what happens to us come the end of the season, that day in May.

"And you hope that the R word is well out of the road before then, and I am sure it will be, no doubt in my mind of that.

"But in the cold light of day we know that is something you can never hide from."

City are now 21 points off the final play-off spot, but Grant insisted that he had still harboured dreams of a shot at the multi-million-pound end-of-season bonanza up until the weekend.

"I genuinely believed up to Saturday that we could make the play-offs, I genuinely did," he said. "And I thought the two points dropped on Saturday put an end to that, because I thought we were well in there, and we were well capable of putting on a run if we kept everybody fit.

"But the unfortunate thing for us is we have had to deal with too much of that. I think you have seen the difference when we brought the two boys (Mark Fotheringham and Simon Lappin) in, we had a bit of balance. We lost Earnie and then all of a sudden everybody else starts going down like flies when you least expect it.

"So that's difficult, and it's hard on the players, but the one thing that gives me confidence is the spirit they have shown. In every game they have kept going and kept going and shown great determination.

"Sometimes you have to look at the positive aspect of it. People say there are more down times than good times in life, but I am not one of those. What will be, will be, as they say, and I think the harder you work the luckier you become. Unfortunately, we have not had that, but if they keep showing that willingness and that desire they won't be a million miles away and hopefully we can put the hard work to bed once and for all."

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