No hiding place for players - Grant
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Peter Grant has promised major changes after Norwich City's freefall down the Championship table continued at the weekend.
Canaries boss Peter Grant has promised major changes after Norwich City's freefall down the Championship table continued at the weekend.
Grant struggled to conceal his anger after seeing City, who had led at the break, concede three goals in the space of 16 second-half minutes to crash 3-1 at home to Plymouth Argyle.
Now, instead of the promotion battle that Grant had so recently promised, City face the very real threat of being sucked into a relegation fight, with the Canaries just eight points off the danger zone.
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“There are no excuses, there is no hiding place for them now,” said Grant. “If I get the players in nobody can come to my door and ask why they have been left out. Nobody.
“I think the days of me trying to explain everything to everybody have gone. Now I will just be stronger and say, 'this is the reason, this is the team, get on with it'.”
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Just to make matters worse, Grant is bracing himself for bad news over leading scorer Robert Earnshaw, who missed Saturday's debacle after suffering what appears to be a bad groin injury in training on Friday.
Earnshaw will see a specialist today, but even if the diagnosis is encouraging, City are likely to be without the man who has scored just about half of their league goals this season for at least a fortnight - and in the current situation it is an absence he could well do without.
Grant accused his players of hiding, of refusing to take responsibility and of living in a comfort zone - but admits that until new players are signed his hands are tied when it comes to changing his team.
“We have a group that is very, very weak, and pass the buck to everybody else, give everybody else responsibility, don't want to take responsibility themselves,” he said.
“People forget I was a footballer, I know when times get tough, I know when some people want the ball, I know when other people are hiding and for me there was too much of that.
“I would love to be able to go out and fight their corner, I would love to be able to go out and say we are this, we are that. I would love to be able to do that, but today they have left me no place to go and I have told them that.”
Not for the first time, Grant says the players appeared to have prepared well, only to perform a Jekyll and Hyde turnaround come match day.
“They prepare in their minds properly, but then when they get to the game, especially here, they go out as if they are the complete opposite players, complete opposite, and that worries,” he said. “And it tells me, as I have said before, that's why for the two or three months I have been here I feel the group needs to be changed.
“There are too many of them maybe in a zone where they are comfortable.
“How do you change it? We have got to be able to bring people in. The board have done that - unfortunately we didn't realise Earnie was injured, but we are bringing someone in to try and help Earnie and try and score goals and then you do that and he gets his injury, so that doesn't help.
“But we still should have had enough quality on the pitch to perform a million things better than today. You just need to have that competition throughout your group and we don't have that and that's why it's too easy for certain guys who think they are going to be first choices.
“I don't have any favourites - if they don't perform they will be sitting next to me. Some guys won't like it, supporters maybe won't like certain guys I leave out, but I don't give a monkey's. I want Norwich City to move forward and to do that I have to try and make this team better, and if that means going away from some of my beliefs I will do it to get a winning mentality, a strong mentality and a group that is capable of taking this great club forward.”