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Holt too nervous to watch at Valley

PUBLISHED: 11:57 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:56 02 July 2010

City skipper Grant Holt has admitted he was too nervous to witness Norwich City's promotion-clinching match at Charlton last weekend. The City skipper was serving out a two-match suspension, but having seen City slip to a surprise defeat at Leyton Orient, he decided to give the trip to Charlton a miss.

City skipper Grant Holt has admitted he was too nervous to witness Norwich City's promotion-clinching match at Charlton last weekend.

The City skipper was serving out a two-match suspension, but having seen City slip to a surprise defeat at Leyton Orient, he decided to give the trip to Charlton a miss.

In his absence, City won 1-0 to clinch their return to the Championship at the first attempt - and he admits it was a nerve-racking Saturday afternoon.

“It wasn't great,” he said. “There's nothing worse when you're so close and you just can't be involved and it was a nervous couple of 90 minutes just sitting in the house trying not to watch the scores because I didn't want to know what was going on.

“I went to Orient on the Tuesday and that was enough for me, I was just too nervous being there so I thought I'll go home, sort the wife and kids out and try and concentrate on anything else apart from football, but it didn't work, I ended up watching Sky Sports news all afternoon anyway.”

Holt is back for this weekend's home game against Gillingham when City know that a point will be enough to clinch the League One title. Until that happens, celebrations are on hold.

“Obviously we're pleased to get promotion, but we're in a position now where we knew for the last four or five weeks that we want to win the league and since the manager came in, from day one, he said we can win the league,” added Holt, speaking on a Football League podcast.

“Everyone knows what the manager's like and he wants the job done and anything else apart from winning the league will be a failure in his eyes. So it's all about keeping it on the back burner and getting the job done and then we'll party a bit then.

“If we get the point, obviously we will celebrate - a few of us are going to the PFA awards at the weekend so I am sure we'll be able to have a nice couple of drinks there if we clinch it, but we won't count our chickens, we have got a job to do. Gillingham are still fighting for their lives and we have got to get the point that we need.”

The mastermind behind City's success has been manager Paul Lambert, a man who prefers to work away the media glare.

“You know your boundary, you know where you stand with him,” said Holt. “You respect him but you can have a laugh and a joke. People don't see it, that's more on the training ground, but the thing with the is, when he's working he's working and you know he's in a different zone. When he's doing interviews when we're playing games he's in match mode and that's what people see and that's what he wants his teams to show.

“He's a great bloke and he's done a fantastic job and we are lucky to have him this year.”

Holt is one of those who has experienced the highs and lows of City life this season, having started the opening game of the season when Lambert's Colchester thumped City 7-1 at Carrow Road.

“It was just one of those things,” he said. “We knew obviously we were better than that, it's just Colchester caught us in a bit of a lull and we didn't play well and you've seen games like that before.

“It's the old cliché, it's a marathon not a sprint, but we knew from that day it was an uphill battle.

“It's fantastic what the lads have done. They've been different class this year.”

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