Holt not worried about the score - so long as City get the points
Chris Lakey Grant Holt turned in a vintage striker's performance to earn City another away win on Saturday, but admitted he doesn't care how the job is done - as long as it is done.
Grant Holt turned in a vintage striker's performance to earn City another away win on Saturday, but admitted he doesn't care how the job is done - as long as it is done.
City's leading scorer struck the only goal of the game after 53 minutes, having spurned other opportunities to put the game beyond Oldham's reach well before their kitchen sink-throwing finale.
But three points was what the manager ordered - so the end result suited Holt fine, even if the margin could have been wider.
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"I'm not really bothered," said Holt, who now has 19 league goals, plus half a dozen others. "As long as we win 1-0 I don't really care.
"As long as we win I am not bothered with the manner it comes - if we play brilliant or it should have been more. We'd take a 1-0 at the start of the game, we got that.
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"We did well, we created chances, unfortunately in the first half we didn't manage to stick them in the net. I was absolutely delighted to get the goal and get the win. The lads are absolutely delighted in there and we are happy to go away with the win."
Holt was annoyed with one effort he slid past a post, but more philosophical about a first-half effort that was disallowed for offside.
"I'm not really bothered," he said. "It's gone and you can't do anything about it - you just have to get on. I was more disappointed with the chance when I got slipped through and I pulled it wide when I should have at least hit the target. But we got the win, I managed to get the goal and roll on the next game."
It wasn't quite that simple: goalkeeper Fraser Forster denied Oldham sub Keigan Parker with an excellent low save to his left in the final minutes, but Holt said he wasn't surprised by Oldham's late rally.
"I thought at spells towards the end we were a little bit sloppy, we panicked a bit. I think we could have had more towards the end if we'd knuckled down, but Fraser does what Fraser does best and kept us in the game," he said.
"Oldham are a good side. They've got a lot to fight for, they're down at the bottom. We knew it would be a hard game. They've got two big lads up front who are lively and Jason Price, who went on the wing, was lively.
"I thought the lads at the back were fantastic. Doc (Gary Doherty) and Nelse (Michael Nelson) headed everything. It was a tough test for those two because they got it rammed down their throat and I thought they were fantastic."
Oldham's Boundary Park is a far cry from the likes of Carrow Road and Elland Road, but Holt knows that if you don't take care of games like this, promotion won't happen.
"These are the games," he said. "It's alright having Leeds at home and going to Swindon and Huddersfield away, but these are the games - away at Oldham, who are in a relegation battle.
"You come here, it's not attractive football, but you grind it out. Winning these games is how you win leagues. The big ones take care of themselves, these are the ones where you need to get the points on the board. We are at the business end of the season, but it is a big win as in the fact that we obviously knew the Leeds score before the game and we went out there and we won."
It's a five-point gap back to Leeds with the games ticking away - but the target remains constant.
"You have to grind out 1-0s and getting clean sheets," said Holt. "It's there for us to take - we're top of the pile and everyone has to catch us now.
"On the run to catch Leeds we never did worry about anyone else, we worried about ourselves and it is only us we can worry about. If we don't perform and get the results, then we let ourselves down.
"We don't really look over our shoulders. Obviously you keep a little eye out and it's nice to know - but if we want to win the league we just have to worry about what we do.
"We have a big March coming up. If we can go through that well we won't be far off."