Grant: So far, so good, but work needed
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City boss Peter Grant says he is happy with how the club's two game tour of Holland has gone as the players head home to Norfolk today.
Norwich City boss Peter Grant says he is happy with how the club's two game tour of Holland has gone as the players head home to Norfolk today.
City won one game against Apeldoorn and lost the other to FC Zwolle on Wednesday night during their week-long stay in the Netherlands.
But Grant said he was delighted with the work the players had put in and some of their performances on the field.
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Speaking in the aftermath of the 2-1 reverse against Zwolle, which saw David Strihavka find the net for the first time, but ended in disappointment with Jimmy Smith's calf injury, Grant said although he was pleased so far, there was plenty of work to do before City travel to Preston North End for their first Coca-Cola Championship game of the season of August 11.
City took the lead on Wednesday through Strihavka, but let their Dutch opponents back into the game and conceded an equaliser on 44 minutes, with the winner coming almost midway through the second half.
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"I've been pleased because they've worked really hard on the pitch," the City boss said of his first-team squad.
"A lot of work's gone into their legs and that's maybe the reason that tiredness comes in.
"We've looked a different things that have been quite successful and some things that have been not so successful.
"The players know what we're all about and what we're trying to achieve.
We've still got to work at the team and manage it the way we want and the players have got a sense of that now and I think we've seen that in the goal we scored.
"We've still got work to do, there's no doubt about that.
"We've worked very hard and, great credit to the players, they've worked very hard but know they've still got a lot to do as in their thoughts on the game and how we can win games at important times. Yet again there's a period of the game you shouldn't be letting in goals such as 44 minutes and 90 minutes and we're still doing that too often."
Next up for City are two friendlies at Carrow Road. Premier League West Ham United, Grant's old club, come to Norwich on Tuesday, followed by another Dutch side, Vitesse Arnhem, on Friday.
The Scot is looking forward to those games as the big kick-off gets ever nearer and his players look to reach full fitness.
"Now we've got to get sharpened up," Grant said. "They've had their game legs and now we get back and we've got work to do.
"We've got two big games to get us a level of fitness yet again, to get ready for the kick-off and that's what we've got to focus on."
Norwich City are to make their debut on Setanta Sports when their game against West Ham is broadcast live on the subscription channel.
City's game is part of a package being shown by the company, who raised the stakes this summer when they won the contract to show 46 Premiership matches live - at a cost of £392m.
City have already sold 14,500 tickets for the Hammers' game. They are still on general sale, at £10 for adults, £6 for 60+ and students, £3 under-16s and £1 for under-12 - in the Family and Standard areas. Jarrold Stand and City Stand prices are £12 adults, £7 60+ and students, £3 under-16 and under-12s.