May 25 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 11, 2013
Grant Holt is a strong enough character to handle his late spot kick miss against the Saints.
Norwich boss Chris Hughton is convinced the Canaries’ experienced captain will suffer no adverse reaction to spurning a stoppage time chance after Artur Boruc clawed out his drilled penalty.
“I wouldn’t think so. I think he’ll be disappointed because he wants to score goals and it’s one less opportunity,” said Hughton. “But he has been around too long and taken too many penalties, and missed some in the past, to let it affect him. Once you are there, you’ve got a goalkeeper who has to try to save it. If the goalkeeper guesses the right way then he has got a chance. He guessed the right way and it probably wasn’t one that was right in the corner. If it is right in the corner, it is more difficult but once he guessed the right way, it gives him an opportunity to save it.”
Saints’ players and management reacted furiously after the late penalty award when Holt tumbled under Luke Shaw’s attentions.
Hughton was adamant Norwich’s first spot kick in 12 months was long overdue and should have arrived in the opening period when the same two players tangled on the edge of the six-yard box.
“We certainly should have had one in that first half when Shaw pulls back Grant. Considering it was our first penalty of the season, we certainly deserved it,” he said. “What Grant has done really well is he has got himself ball-side of the defender. Do I think there was contact? Yes, I do.
“Whether there was enough contact for the referee to give a penalty of course he has to make that decision and he has an assistant on that side to help him make it. I go back and say it was our first penalty of the season and if we think that was soft, certainly the first one wasn’t.”
City would have moved into the top 10 if Holt had converted in the final meaningful act of the game at Carrow Road, but Hughton admitted the Canaries also owed a debt to keeper Mark Bunn to preserve a fourth league clean sheet of 2013.
“That is the frustration because it would have taken us into 10th place,” he said. “The conditions were not easy for Mark. He has been a very good signing. If you speak to him and the back four and the central two players in midfield they are probably more delighted with the clean sheet. The lads up front and wide players will be disappointed we haven’t gone on and won the game.”