Holt has his sights on Allcock's scoring record
Chris Lakey Grant Holt has Terry Allcock's Norwich City goal-scoring record in his sights after pushing the Canaries ever closer to promotion with his landmark 30th strike of the season yesterday.
Grant Holt has Terry Allcock's Norwich City goal-scoring record in his sights after pushing the Canaries ever closer to promotion with his landmark 30th strike of the season yesterday.
The former tyre fitter became the first man since Ron Davies 46 years ago to hit the magic 30 mark - in all competitions - and another seven will draw him level with the man they call The Count. But Holt says he'd gladly give up a place in the record books in exchange for promotion.
“It's going to be a tall order,” said Holt. “I knew a few weeks ago I'd have to get nine in nine or something like that, but I'm not focused on it. You keep it in the back of your mind and if it happens it happens. If I do get anywhere near it we will be champions, and that is more important.
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“If I don't score from now until the end of the season I don't care, as long as we get promoted.”
Holt - whose previous best was the 28-goal haul that earned him the League Two Golden Boot for Shrewsbury last season - has followed some illustrious players who have led the City scoring ranks, but admits the stats don't concern him.
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“I never look,” he said. “I know Mark Robins has been here, I know Chris Sutton has been here, but I don't look at goal figures. I just concentrate on the team performance. The team gives me more enjoyment, winning the games rather than being engrossed in what I'm doing.”
Manager Paul Lambert paid tribute to his skipper's achievement.
“It's terrific,” he said. “It's been a massive season for him. He's been terrific for me and more important he has been terrific for this football club. Another goal - 30 goals, no matter which way you want to look at it, is a terrific return.”
Holt's 24th league goal of the campaign on 25 minutes put City ahead after Anthony McNamee's third-minute goal had been cancelled out by Jabo Ibehre's surprise equaliser.
It could have been more, with City dominating for long periods in the seconds half without reward.
The top five sides all won, so City remain nine points ahead of Swindon - and are guaranteed at worst a play-off spot come the end of the season.
Manager Paul Lambert made five changes, with central defender Gary Doherty (dead leg) and midfielder Wes Hoolahan (thigh strain) ruled out after Friday's controversial 3-1 defeat at Tranmere.
“They were always going to be doubtful,” said Lambert. “I think Grant is in better condition than Wes at the minute.
“Zak (Whitbread) came in and did great for his first game in months and McNamee came back and did great.”
The manner of the defeat at Tranmere, when City had keeper Fraser Forster sent off and conceded three controversial goals, clearly still rankles with Lambert.
“I'm delighted with the response after Friday,” he said. “We could still be playing there now and still not get a decision.
“Stockport came here with nothing to lose and the onus is on us to make the running. We had a couple of chances that came off the line or the bar or the post, whatever, but I am delighted with the response. It was a big, big effort and it's another game off the list.”
Stockport could have been relegated had other results gone against them, but the cash-strapped club live to fight another day after a performance which at times belied their lowly stature.
“We deserved to win,” said Lambert. “I wish I had a game that was easy. I've never seen one, never been involved in one and I don't think in future I will be involved in an easy game.”
Hoolahan would appear to be the biggest doubt for Saturday's home game against MK Dons, but McNamee - who scored his first goal in City colours - is a more than able replacement. He proved that earlier this year when Darel Russell was suspended for three games, and Lambert admits he was unfortunate not to retain his place.
He went out of the side, probably unfairly, but it was a decision I had to make,” Lambert said. “But when a team keeps on winning it's hard to slot certain lads in front of you and he has had to wait again and he has come in and played really well for us, and a terrific goal.”