Gunn salutes his Canaries

Bryan Gunn saluted the start of Norwich City's season at the second attempt last night as a Grant Holt hat-trick inspired a thumping Carling Cup victory at Yeovil.

Bryan Gunn saluted the start of Norwich City's season at the second attempt last night as a Grant Holt hat-trick inspired a thumping Carling Cup victory at Yeovil.

With Saturday's embarrassing 7-1 home demolition by Colchester still very much fresh in the memory, City were under immense pressure to not only perform and win, but to prove to their fans that the weekend defeat was indeed a “major blip” as Gunn had claimed.

“Obviously we made a few changes,” said Gunn. “The character the players showed tonight in light of what happened on Saturday, I knew what we would get - we didn't get it until the end of the game but certainly the season starts now.

“We have four days to prepare for the Exeter game and it is something we are delighted about.

“We looked for a reaction from Saturday and it could have gone two ways. We could have come down to Yeovil and not applied ourselves on the pitch, but certainly tonight the 11 that started and the three subs that came on all applied themselves.

“We asked for togetherness and unity, it didn't happen back on Saturday too much. It was obviously disappointing, but at the same time the response was what we asked for. We got that and we are all delighted in the dressing room.”

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Gunn had been widely criticised after Saturday's performance, which brought City down to earth with a bang after a summer in which he brought in a dozen players and steered them through the pre-season schedule unbeaten.

But after the first attempt failed, Gunn finally saw his side fire on all cylinders last night - none more so than Holt, a �400,000 buy from Shrewsbury.

Holt's spree began soon after Wes Hoolahan put City ahead from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half - and ended just as the match went into time added on. But it was his all-round performance on top of his goals which impressed.

“I was just asking him what his best position was - right back, left wing, centre midfield,” said Gunn. “He kept turning up in all sorts of positions but he showed his true character. He probably didn't get the service at the weekend that he needed, but tonight we showed that if we get the balls in the right areas and obviously Cody (McDonald) with his pace caused problems as well, so we are delighted for the horse, as he has been nicknamed in the dressing room now.

“I think it is more down to his work rate than anything else, but certainly we'd like to get the rest of the season like that from Grant. He has a bump on his right eye, he's got a kick on his ankle, he twinged his knee before the game but he didn't want to come off and that's the character and the attitude we want from all the players now.”

Gunn axed keeper Michael Theoklitos, defenders Michael Nelson and Jon Otsemobor and striker Chris Martin. Michael Spillane took Otsemobor's role at right back, while Tom Adeyemi replaced Owain Tudur Jones, away in international duty with Wales, in midfield.

“Tom came on to the pitch on Saturday under very difficult circumstances, but showed he has the composure to play at this level and he didn't look out of place at all,” said Gunn. “He looked like he had been playing for many a season so again that is an opportunity for Tom that he has taken. Michael Spillane as well. It was an opportunity we offered him and he took it. Ben Alnwick took it and kept a clean sheet, but again with the organisation with the defence with Gary Doherty and Jens (Berthel Askou) we looked very solid tonight and there were only a couple of times when Yeovil caused us any danger. We are happy.”