Grant refuses to apologise for slamming fans
Peter Grant has refused to back down after branding Canary fans a disgrace for failing to get behind his players. With 90 minutes on the clock, an under-par Norwich were just seconds away from sealing an undeserved home win following Robert Earnshaw's 12th goal of the season against lowly Hull.
Peter Grant has refused to back down after branding Canary fans a disgrace for failing to get behind his players.
With 90 minutes on the clock, an under-par Norwich were just seconds away from sealing an undeserved home win following Robert Earnshaw's 12th goal of the season against lowly Hull.
But the side just one place off the foot of the Championship table mustered an equaliser deep into injury time through Michael Turner.
That sparked an unprecedented outburst by Grant against Norwich City fans, accusing them of failing to will their players on to victory during the final 15 minutes of the game.
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This was despite another almost capacity crowd of 24,129 at Carrow Road and the derby day humiliation at Ipswich the previous weekend.
“Fifteen bloody minutes to go and we were 1-0 up, we can win the game,” said Grant. “We needed a little bit of help. They got their commitment, they got their passion, they never got anything back in return, not for 94 minutes did they get anything in return. For me that's a disgrace.”
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The outburst was all the more surprising given Grant has only been in the job six weeks and particularly coming so soon after the 3-1 defeat at Portman Road.
Enraged fans have inundated message boards, like www.pinkun.com, to condemn the manager's stinging broadside.
But at a press conference at Colney today Grant stood by his comments.
“I can't apologise. I feel in the last part of the match we needed more support and I'm sorry about that, but I can't take it back,” he said.
Instead, he urged fans to get behind the team ahead of tomorrow night's clash with Leicester City at Carrow Road and make the place a 'cauldron'.
“I want them to come to support the team because without them we would be nothing - the club's nothing without its fans' support.”
Alex Warren, of fans' group Waveney Yellows, said Grant should have retracted his comments, even if they did come in the heat of the moment.
“I can see where he's coming from but I can't see what he's going to achieve by saying what he's said.
“He's new to the job and is going to make mistakes and I think he will find this is one of them.”
Roy Blower, chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters Association, said he was surprised by Grant's outburst following the game.
“Any more comments like that and he will lose the crowd. The fans were obviously reserved after the desperate performance at Ipswich and it is difficult to engender vocal support when you see some of the abject displays from some of the players.
“I'm not one of the boo-boys, I think it's counter-productive, but there were one or two players who didn't appear to be interested and that's a sad reflection.”
Sarah Greaves, a London-based Norwich City season-ticket holder who was at the game, said: “I didn't think the fans were that quiet. We were understandably nervous before the end because we know what Norwich have the capacity to do when we're 1-0 up.”
Fans are angry their loyalty and commitment has been called into question. Writing on the Pink Un message board, 1st Wizard said: “Delia's puppet has done the unforgivable; 24,000 fans deserve better. It is time for our pathetic board to stand down and let someone else with real balls take over.
“Grant, today you have lost me as a fan, not of the club, that's for life, but you have no place at Carrow Road in my opinion. So please crawl back to West Ham, we don't need a manager who uses us as an excuse for HIS own failings. Worthy did that, and look what happened to him. The sooner your puppet strings are cut, the better!”
Chocolate Nutter wrote: “I will judge PG after January as I hope he will bring in his own players. PG has got to go with what he has got and that is what was left for him.”
Bread1 wrote: “Can somebody out there get me (Mike) Walker's phone number. Mike we need you SOS, cos this guy ain't good enough.”