Grant tips West Brom for playoff glory
CHRIS LAKEY Frustrated Canaries boss Peter Grant is tipping West Bromwich Albion to take the biggest prize in football and earn a place in the Premiership.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Frustrated Canaries boss Peter Grant is tipping West Bromwich Albion to take the biggest prize in football and earn a place in the Premiership.
The Baggies take on Billy Davies' Derby County next Monday (May 28) in a match said to be worth £50m to the winners.
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And that, according to Grant, will be West Brom - and the fact that City beat them twice under Grant's stewardship makes the final match of the Championship season all the more frustrating.
“It is so frustrating when I see the teams that have been involved there,” said Grant. “On our day we are as good as any of them. That's what the season's been like - it's been tough.
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“We beat West Brom away and although I wasn't here for the first game against Derby, the second one we might have lost but anyone who saw it would have had us down as the side heading towards the play-offs, not Derby.”
Hard as it has been, Grant has watched all of the play-off matches, and is convinced that West Brom - and more importantly their “big” players are coming good at just the right time.
“The good players are playing for them and the timing is perfect,” said Grant. Their front six - the midfield four plus the top two - are quality.
“I just feel the likes of Jason Koumas, Diomansy Kamara and his pace, the experience of Kevin Phillips and Jonathan Greening will be too much for Derby.
“The biggest problem for them is keeping their back four solid, like Derby's is. And Derby have a lot of strength at set-pieces.
“I'd say West Brom are more fluent than solid.
“It's interesting that Billy Davies has left out young David Jones and gone for more legs to get the ball to Steve Howard quickly.”
To make the play-offs just that bit more difficult, Grant has had to watch Stephen Pearson turn in impressive performances for the Rams, who beat Norwich to the former Celtic man's signature in January.
“There are no airs and graces with Pearson,” said Grant. “He puts in a great supply to the front men and I think he's played well for Derby. I would probably have played him a little more central if we'd got him here - but that wasn't to be. I laugh when Billy says he hasn't spent money at Derby - he offered twice what we could offer Celtic for Pearson and he manages to get someone like Gary Teale out of the Premiership as well.”