Grant wants more goals from midfield

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant has called on his midfielders to follow the lead of long-shot hero Dickson Etuhu and start scoring goals for Norwich City.


Peter Grant has called on his midfielders to follow the lead of long-shot hero Dickson Etuhu and start scoring goals for Norwich City.

Etuhu has been on target in consecutive games at Carrow Road, but elsewhere it's something of a goal drought for the Canaries.

City have scored just three goals in five matches since Grant took over - and leading marksman Robert Earnshaw has yet to find the back of the net for his new manager.

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Etuhu has scored twice for Grant - while the winner at Birmingham came courtesy of a home defender.

And while Grant insists he has no worries that Earnshaw can end what by his standards is a mini-slump, he is demanding more from the rest of his squad - in terms of goals and service.

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“The other night he had a chance and hit the side netting,” said Grant. “He had a chance if Hucks had played the right ball right on half-time, it was a fantastic opportunity for us.

“It is not necessarily down to him though; he has had the chances and hit the target, but I have no worries whatsoever with him be cause he'll score goals. But yet again I have to say where was that final pass to him? Was that the right selection to give him that chance? Once or twice when it was he has made the keeper work, he has hit the side netting, and in the other games he has always made the keeper make saves.

“I have no problem with that - I'd be more worried if he wasn't getting in the positions to get them. Yes, I would like him to start scoring again, but I think the other boys have got to get in there with goals as well.”

Earnshaw has nine goals for the season, making him second top scorer in the Championship behind Michael Chopra, but next is Etuhu with four in all competitions and Darren Huckerby on three.

It's Etuhu who's on form, but Grant expects more.

“I am looking for other midfield players to be joining in that as well,” he said. “We should have much more goals with the attacking players we have. It is something I am very much looking for and expecting from them, and especially with the freedom we give them to play, that is why I was so frustrated the other evening because we gave the ball away when we were attacking, in very very good areas with people free and the simple pass we made so difficult and turned it over so often.

“With the amount of players we have capable of causing problems to the opposition, to not score as often as we do is disappointing for me, so, yes, I will be expecting a lot of goals from more than just Dickson.

“He has been excellent since I came in. but the other boys have to be a bigger threat on the opposition goal. They have got to get into the box not hoping to score but getting in there to score.”

Etuhu has grown in confidence this season, with the obvious rewards.

“I think he has a belief,” said Grant. “He knows I have given him the confidence to express himself, I have told him he can be the compete midfield player. He has the energy, he has a good passing range, he has got a goal in his makeup now - now get in the box and score some headers.

“There is always something you can add to it. Can he create chances now, as well, with a killer pass? There are always things you look for from that type of midfield player, someone who is going to create chances and score chances. How many assists does he have? How many goals does he score himself? All these things are all important for all midfielder players.

“The wide players have got to be a bigger threat in the opposition goal and I just feel with Robert Earnshaw second top scorer in the division we should have a lot more boys in that area of five or six goals from the middle of the pitch. That is the minimum they should go for, attacking players like Dickson.

“Carl Robinson and Youssef Safri are a little bit different, maybe, because they are sitters, particularly Robbo, more than attackers. Saff has a good range of shooting so he could utilise that more so I am always looking for more goals, from midfield and the wide areas.”

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