Grant sets goals for midfield men
CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant has challenged his midfielders and defenders to take the weight off Robert Earnshaw's shoulders and chip in with some much-needed goals.
Peter Grant has challenged his midfielders and defenders to take the weight of Robert Earnshaw's shoulders and chip in with some much-needed goals.
Earnshaw has bagged 17 goals in 25 Championship starts this season - exactly half of City's total this season - and now the City boss feels it's time his team-mates contributed to the cause.
"The midfielders have to score much more goals, there is no doubt about that," said Grant. "That is the wide players and the central midfield players have got to score more goals. You can't depend on one or two guys to get you goals all the time.
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"The centre backs have had chances every game through set plays, every game. They should have hit the target and scored goals, no doubt. We have to have more goals around the group."
The 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace was the perfect example: Darren Huckerby and Gary Doherty could easily have got on the scoresheet as chances went begging, especially in the early stages.
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Huckerby's brace at Tamworth took his league and cup tally for the season to five and Grant believes there are positive signs.
"You are looking at Robbie Earnshaw - he misses a chance last week, but he is in the box to get a chance," he pointed out.
"You see Dion's goal - the person next to him was Dickson Etuhu, so that's a positive side.
"You see Hucks, scoring two goals."
It's Huckerby who clearly leaves Grant most frustrated.
"You will hear me screaming at him every week that he has got to get in the box much more often," he said. "He gets lazy minded and stays way wide, he daydreams, sometimes, when the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch. He has got to be much more effective in the box and he has got to get his goals. You have to get in there to get chances.
"I look at John Barnes, I keep saying that to him. John Barnes played left side for Liverpool and how many tap-ins did he get at the far post? It was because he followed things in, it was a big part of the wide man's game.
"You look at your wide players to be scoring a lot more goals - they have got to be creating goals and they have got to be scoring goals, that is part of their job.
"I will give them away their defensive duties, but they have to make sure they are going to be a bigger effect in the opposition area.
"Now we have to look at (Lee) Croft, (Luke) Chadwick when he comes back, the central midfield players and the centre backs who I think have had too many chances in the last three or four games and not hit the target enough - or hit the target and should be scoring."