Grant: Strihavka can make the next level
CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant believes David Strihavka has a bright future in England after watching his Czech import open his account against Crystal Palace.
Peter Grant believes David Strihavka has a bright future in England after watching his Czech import open his account against Crystal Palace.
Overseas players generally under-achieved at Carrow Road, but the Canaries boss believes he has picked up a bargain in Strihavka, believed to have cost City around £650,000 when he moved from Banik Ostrava in the summer.
“We are very, very pleased with him and I am sure he has a bright future in the English game because he is powerful, he's quick and technically he's good, so he's got a mixture,” said Grant.
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“He is 24 and he knows he is capable of achieving, he knows he is capable of getting to the next level. We are very fortunate to have him.
“People say does that goal give him the confidence, but he has been doing very well in training, but he has not had the opportunity because for two and a half weeks he was off ill. He keeps getting a throat infection and we give him time off and then he had it again and couldn't play against Rochdale. It's just the time he has not played.
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“Then there's the performances of (Chris) Brown and (Jamie) Cureton - at the end of the day that is the nature of the beast sometimes - you are out of the side not because the way you are playing, it's sometimes the guy in front of you.”
Strihavka is part of an attacking mix that Grant is happy with - although he believes the latter stages of Saturday's game proved that some players still have things to learn.
“I think it will be a different mix with the strikers now,” he said. “If they are all fit I think I can change, play a different way. We can play Dion Dublin up there, who holds things up, we could have Brown and Strihavka and go beyond them - he is technically very good, he knows where the ball is going to be in the box. We have got Jamie Cureton, who got chances again - him and Brown will both be disappointed with a couple of chances they had.
“And Strihavka comes on and scores, so all in all very, very pleased. But he has been doing very well - he needs to be because we have young Chris Martin who has been doing well and you're leaving him out of the 16, so it is great to be in that position with strikers, and if I can keep them all fit I definitely feel as if I have a different mix.”
However, Grant still has concerns and admitted he had “aged” in the closing stages of the game as City attempted to close the game down.
“All round I was pleased with the boys, they dug in,” he said. “It wasn't the greatest game, it was two nervous teams that were playing.
“I was 42 up to the last five minutes and I ended up being 72. We still don't know at that important time of the game just to play the game simple, keep in your areas of the pitch.
“There are still things to be worked on.
“There is always a nervousness creep in. That is why I was on the edge of the pitch - saying to the guys with the experience of Darel Russell - Darel is still wanting to run forward and score another goal, Lee croft has gone away out left, we end up with five up the pitch one time, the full backs are still bombing on - Adam Drury does an overlap, Jon Otsemobor does an overlap.
“I want to be positive, but I want to be thinking at the same time. Nobody else, I don't care whether it's the Premier League or the Championship, would do that. But it's just the enthusiasm and the drive that sometimes costs us dearly, because they work very hard but they don't think as hard, and they could cut that down and make life easier for us.
“I understand that, when there's a nervousness you just want to win the game, and they have been desperate to do that and they are still desperate to put on a right good performance.”