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Single-minded Holt cares little for rivals

PUBLISHED: 08:30 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:20 02 July 2010

Norwich City skipper Grant Holt buries his header beyond Exeter goalkeeper Paul Jones to open the scoring at Carrow Road on Saturday. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Norwich City skipper Grant Holt buries his header beyond Exeter goalkeeper Paul Jones to open the scoring at Carrow Road on Saturday. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Grant Holt has a selfish view when it comes to talking about the League One promotion race: it's all about Norwich City. Not Leeds. Not Charlton. Not Colchester.

Grant Holt has a selfish view when it comes to talking about the League One promotion race: it's all about Norwich City. Not Leeds. Not Charlton. Not Colchester.

Holt's brace against Exeter on Saturday took his total for the season to 22 - 16 in the league - and with Leeds dropping home points, the gap between first and second is now down to six points. Not that Holt's counting.

"We only look at the way we are playing, like we have done when we've caught Charlton," he said. "We can only worry about what we do. At the moment we're winning games and if we continue to do that we won't be far off."

Are Leeds catchable?

"I don't really want to answer that to be honest," Holt added. "We worry about ourselves, we have our own games. We've got Walsall on Tuesday, if it goes ahead, which is what we concentrate on. The more we do it the more chance we have got of catching Leeds."

It was just the top two playing on Saturday because of the weather - which goes some way to avoiding too much of a fixture backlog.

"You'd rather have the points, you don't want a backlog of playing Saturday, Tuesday Saturday, Tuesday and fortunately at the minute we don't have to do that," Holt said. "We knew a bit of pressure was on and maybe for the first time in a while the pressure has been on a little bit - with everyone off - to try and break away from the pack and catch whoever's above us and the lads were fantastic and did well today."

Victory came at the end of a week when the club once again insisted no one was leaving Carrow Road - players or staff, with manager Paul Lambert heavily tipped to take over the vacancy at Premier League Burnley. Holt's goal tally - the best in the country - makes him an obvious target, but the 28-year-old says he's staying put.

"I think so - no-one has told us otherwise," he said. "I'm happy and settled and just enjoying being here."

And Lambert?

"It's good for the gaffer that he's getting linked with these jobs," he added. "It just shows what he's done since he came in.

"Obviously we didn't think he was going to go anywhere. He kind of assured us a bit tongue in cheek this week that he wasn't going to go. It's good for him and he deserves all the credit. He deserves to be talked about getting other jobs because of what he's done, but he is here to do a job and if we keep going we will do a job for him."

The job wasn't the easiest, even though Holt gave City an early lead, heading home Wes Hoolahan's pinpoint cross after just eight minutes. Exeter, with three centre-backs, five across the middle, but two up front, came and made a game of it.

"When teams come here and they want to sit in and sit back and try and go for the draw it is frustrating, but with the early goal they came out to be fair and they had a right go and were unlucky," said Holt.

"Fraser (Forster) made some great saves in the first half. You have got to weather the storm really and we have done that and when you get Wes in certain positions, some of the balls he puts through are fantastic and he killed them off just when they started coming back into the game."

"I think it (the scoreline) was a little bit harsh. They performed better than that, than the scoreline suggests, but a win's a win and we would have taken 1-0 at the start of the game so we're delighted in there."

Hoolahan provided the opener with a high cross to the far post - much to the striker's delight - and after veteran Marcus Stewart pulled it back to 2-1 set Holt through for the game clincher.

"It was a great ball," said Holt. "I keep telling him he needs to cross the ball, he doesn't do it enough, but he has got qualities. It's a great ball, it's one of them 'go and finish it' ones and thankfully I did. We all know what he can do and it has been well documented how good he is and we are just lucky to have him at the football club.

"He keeps saying he's on a drought in there because he hasn't scored for two games but he has told us he has got five assists in two games and he's said he would rather take them."

The usual suspects grabbed all the praise again, but Holt's unselfish side came through post-match.

"I don't want to keep going over and over, it's the centre halves, it's the midfield, but obviously with the forwards you get plaudits.," he said.

"We all now how good Wes is, having him behind you, he gets in positions and he puts some great little balls in. He can frustrate you at times, but you just have to take that. Chrissy Martin as well - he worked hard today and he got the goal that he deserved.

"We're getting chances and we're putting them away and if we keep doing that we'll be alright."

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