Holt happy if Martin tops charts and Norwich City go up
David Cuffley Skipper Grant Holt will be more than happy to see fellow striker Chris Martin finish the season as Norwich City's leading scorer - if the extra goals mean winning promotion. Martin has scored six times in the past six matches for the League One leaders to take his tally to 19 in all competitions.
Skipper Grant Holt will be more than happy to see fellow striker Chris Martin finish the season as Norwich City's leading scorer - if the extra goals mean winning promotion.
Martin has scored six times in the past six matches for the League One leaders to take his tally to 19 in all competitions, three of those goals coming since Holt was sent off in the 1-0 home victory over Brentford.
The 21-year-old has shouldered an additional attacking burden while his captain served a three-match ban for his red card against the Bees.
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Holt is available again for Saturday's trip to Brighton when he will get the chance to add to his 23-goal total, but he insists personal targets are not important - getting promotion is.
“We all know how good Chris is and, I've said before, I wouldn't be surprised if he catches me, the form he's in,” said Holt.
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“Our target is a team target, to get promoted. If Chris Martin goes on and is top scorer and scores 30-odd goals I'll be absolutely made up for him because that would probably achieve promotion, which is our main goal.”
Martin's superb free-kick gave City an early lead at Millwall on Saturday, before a 2-1 defeat ended their 16-match unbeaten run in the league. But it is not merely his goals that have impressed the watching Holt.
“I thought his hold-up play in the first half at Millwall was fantastic, he brought people into play and that's what he's had to do the last couple of weeks,” said Holt. “I think everyone in the squad has been saying how well he's shown the other side of his game that he's been working on.”
Holt admits to having been frustrated on the sidelines since his first-half exit against Brentford for a challenge on Toumani Diagouraga.
“It's never good, sitting at home and watching the results come in, hearing reports or trying to listen to the radio,” he said.
“Thankfully, in one way, I went to watch the game at Millwall, so I knew what was going on at the weekend.
“I'm champing at the bit now to get back and involved. I know that with the tackle, I've let the club down by getting the sending-off, let the fans down and let my team-mates down, more importantly.
“They've done unbelievably in the three games leading up to Millwall. I thought at the weekend it caught up with them a little bit, playing the games that they've played, but they still kept going and were a little bit unfortunate not to get anything.
“The lads who came in have done a really good job. They played with 10 men against Brentford, went to Walsall on a bad pitch and got a result there, played Hartlepool and got another good result. It was always going to come, there was always going to be a blip, but it's how we respond now.
“You never want to lose matches. It doesn't matter if you've been on the best run in the world or you keep getting beaten every week, no footballer likes getting beaten.
“But you've got to look at the positives and take what you've done over the last 16 weeks, not what you've done at the weekend.
“We know it's a blip. Millwall are a good side, they're in the play-off places and they'll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. It's not like we've been beaten by someone who's near the bottom of the league.”
Brighton have won just two of their 13 home games this season at the Withdean Stadium, designed primarily for athletics.
Said Holt: “It will be a different atmosphere, the ground is very open and our fans are miles away. But we've just got to go there and do what we've been doing the last few weeks, which is a great job, a workmanlike job, and get the points.
“It's very open plan, very windy, it could be any sort of surface. We know they're not on the greatest run at home, but they're good away so it shows they've got a little bit about them. But the way we've been performing, to go down there and get anything less than a win will be disappointing.”
With three of the top seven in League One involved in midweek matches, the top of the table may have changed slightly before the weekend, but Holt said: “We try not to look at other people's results. We just worry about our own because that's all we can affect.
“If it's Charlton or Leeds you always have a look to see how they've got on but our job is just to focus on what we've got to do and the teams we've got to play and if we do that we'll get promoted.”
With 23 goals, Holt could still threaten the club's all-time record of 37 in a season by Terry Allcock if he has a prolific run in the remaining 16 League One games, or a maximum of 19 matches if City were to be involved in the play-offs.
But he said: “I don't set targets. The target now is to keep winning, to stay in the top two and get promoted.”