Hamstring niggle not an issue for Norwich City captain Holt

Norwich City skipper Grant Holt is confident he has shrugged off any lasting effects of the hamstring injury he suffered at Watford more than a fortnight ago.

The Canaries’ top scorer was a major concern after hobbling through the closing minutes of the 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.

But he gritted his teeth to get through the 2-1 home victory over Nottingham Forest three days later, scoring the first goal and having a hand in the second.

He was substituted eight minutes from time in the 5-1 derby victory at Ipswich, before playing the whole of the 3-2 Easter Monday win over Derby at Carrow Road, right through to the sixth minute of stoppage time.

As City prepare for their crucial Championship trip to Portsmouth on Monday evening, Holt said he felt he had put the injury niggle behind him.

“I’ve got over it now. The Forest game was a ‘hope for the best’ kind of thing and thankfully it worked out,” he said. “I managed to get a good rest before the Ipswich game and didn’t really feel it – I felt it a bit towards the end but I’ve had a good rest now and it’s feeling better and better.

“I’ve been working with the physios and nicking my days off a little bit, but it’s all right.

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“A lot of games have caught up with us, I felt a little bit tired but you’ve got to put your body through the mill at this time of the year.”

The prospect of automatic promotion, if City beat Portsmouth and Coventry in their final two matches, has a marvellous way of soothing the pain.

Said Holt: “There are a lot of lads in there who have not got injuries, but are tired and have got knocks but you’ve just got to keep going. I think when you’re up there and you’ve got the chance of achieving what we have, you just have to keep grinding it out.

“It’s a lot easier to keep going than if you’re down the bottom and you’ve got a lot of people turning the other way.”

While Holt has scored 22 goals in all competitions this season – and 52 in 90 games for City – it is striking partner Simeon Jackson who has stolen the headlines in April with eight goals in six games, including two hat-tricks.

Holt said he was not surprised by the Canadian international’s scoring spree.

“I played against him a few times when he was at Gillingham and I knew he was a natural goalscorer,” he said.

“As a forward it is never easy when you are in or out and have a dip in form and even Simeon will be the first to tell you he wasn’t performing great. He was working hard, but he wasn’t getting his goals. We all know as forwards you are kind of judged on goals.

“But he came in and I had a chat with him and just said he needed to get back to what he does best, which is play on their shoulders, play his game the way he does it and he did that.

“I think once he got the hat-trick and he scored the week after it gave him that bit of confidence to say ‘Yes I’m ready’ and he has stepped up and he has been fantastic. If he continues to do what he is doing I’m sure it can only bode well for next season.

“He has everything that a good, top forward needs – he’s quick, he’s strong and he scores goals and when he is on his game there really is no one better.

“We’re not bothered who scores or who sets them up – as long as they go in, then that’s fine.

“At this moment in time we have got players scoring goals. Simeon’s absolutely red-hot – every time he gets the chance you think he is going to score.”