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We're starting to click into gear, says Norwich City goal hero

PUBLISHED: 10:48 20 December 2010

Grant Holt opens the scoring at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Grant Holt opens the scoring at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Focus Images 2010

Skipper Grant Holt insists Norwich City will not be looking over their shoulders as they bid to cement their place among the Championship front-runners.

Next Sunday’s trip to Crystal Palace marks the halfway stage of the season for the Canaries, and they go to Selhurst Park in fifth place, six points clear of seventh spot, after Holt’s double gave them a 2-1 win at Coventry and took his tally to 11 goals for the season.

“I hope we are there at the end of the season,” he said. “We were in the same position last year. It was an on and off start, we finally clicked as a team and I think over these past three or four weeks you can see how good a team we are.

“We want to push on, that’s for sure, and we have a couple of good games coming up and hopefully we’ll see where that takes us in January.

“But we certainly don’t look at who is behind us or how far we are in front of anyone else.

“It is very similar to last year. We know if we go about our job week in, week out then that can take you a long way but it would certainly be a good achievement to be up there after January.”

Holt, returning from a one-match ban after missing the 2-0 home defeat by Portsmouth, praised his team-mates for standing up to the physical challenge presented by Coventry to record their fifth away win of the campaign.

Midfielder Aron Gunnarsson was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Henri Lansbury and, earlier in the game, Holt appeared to be caught in the face by Michael Doyle’s flailing arm.

“They are a good side but they can spoil a game and a few of the tackles were a bit ridiculous, to be honest,” he said.

“The sending-off was one where, from my point of view, I think he won the ball but it was a bit high and there were a couple of late ones the referee didn’t see and a few elbows being thrown. That is the way they play, to get in people’s faces so I am proud of my boys.

“We stood up well. I thought when the tackles were there to be won, we won them.

“When we had to put our heads in certain areas, we did that. I’m not the softest lad in the world and I can take tackles.

“As long as no one is going to hurt you, that is fine. I thought when our backs were against the wall we battled and showed both sides of our game.”

Holt now has 41 goals in 67 senior appearances for City, including six in his last five games.

“To score 11 before Christmas is not bad, I’m happy enough,” he said. “It took me a few games to get going, maybe six or seven to get into the swing of it and I hadn’t really played in this division week in, week out. I’d had a couple of games off the bench at Blackpool, but it takes time to find your feet.”

Manager Paul Lambert said there was nothing complicated about Holt’s success.

“That’s probably why strikers get paid the most money, because they can put the ball in the net,” he said.

“That’s what I pay him to do. It’s not rocket science, I pay him to score and he’s been brilliant for me from day one.

“He’s a threat. His confidence at the minute is sky-high and he’s a handful.”

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