Holt ready for the Premier League
Norwich City skipper Grant Holt admits he is using his doubters as motivation to show that he can score goals in the Premier League.
Some commentators have questioned whether the 30-year-old can make yet another step up but Holt believes he has earned the right of a shot at the top-flight and is desperate to test himself against the best.
When asked if he had set any personal goal targets this season, Holt joked: “One probably. People have already said that I won’t do it anyway, which people said last year and the year before – but of course you use it as motivation.
“We are under no illusion that it’s going to be tough to score goals and whatever return I get then that’s fantastic.
“But I’m always a believer it’s not about what I do or how many goals I score. If you ask any Norwich fan I’m not just about goals, I give a lot more to the team than that. I think you can see that from the amount of assists I got last year. We just want to win games, and it doesn’t matter who scores the goals, as long as I’m playing and doing something right for the team and the management, I don’t really care.”
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With three children to occupy Holt said he hasn’t had much time to watch Premier League football but the former Shrewsbury man is under no illusions as to what awaits the Canaries, starting at Wigan this afternoon.
“It’s going to be different – a lot of teams have been established there for a long time,” added the City captain, who is set to be joined by Daniel Ayala after the club agreed a reported �800,000 deal with Liverpool. “It’s going to be a tough ask but we will do our best week in, week out.
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“But we believe that we are good enough to stay up. We know we are going to have to play to our potential week in, week out.”
Holt has played a huge part in restoring the feelgood factor around the city thanks to his all-action displays over the last two seasons and he hopes to continue to make the supporters proud of their football club. “The city has backed us for the last two years because we’ve produced on the pitch,” he said. “We know it’s going to be tougher (in the Premier League) but I’m sure we will get the same support win or lose. This city wants a fantastic football club and we’ve given them that.”
City have been trying to keep everything as normal as possible in the run-up to today’s opener to try not to alter a formula that has proved so successful over the last two years. When the starting XI gather for their pre-match huddle at the DW Stadium, Holt won’t be changing the speech he normally gives his side.
“I just wing it every week,” he said. “I’m not going to start preparing things because it has worked for two years and I don’t really want to start doing it like a ritual.
“The lads know what I expect and what the manager expects. If they do that then we will have a good day.
“You try not to put a different emphasis on it. They’re all tough, it doesn’t matter if it’s Man U or Wigan, they have all got players that can hurt you. We have the belief that we’ve worked hard, we’re ready and we just can’t wait to get out there.”
City’s achilles heel when they were last in the top flight was their away form, which saw them fail to register three points throughout the whole season.
However, Holt does not feel his side’s season will hinge on how they fare away from Carrow Road. As long as they pick up enough points on their home turf to stay in the Premier League then he doesn’t care.
“I’ve been in that situation (where we haven’t won away) before with Shrewsbury and we got in the play-offs. As long as we win at home then we will be alright. We never look too far ahead, we’ve got Wigan this week and Stoke next week.
“You’ll take points at certain grounds when you wouldn’t think that you would and vice versa.”