Norwich manager Hughton expects Holt to relish competition for places

The former Newcastle boss believes the added firepower up-front will spark a healthy rivalry, but also help share the workload, with the squad previously thin on strikers
Norwich manager Chris Hughton believes Grant Holt will respond well to the arrival of Luciano Becchio and Kei Kamara and should welcome the increased competition and rivalry at the club.

The Argentine attacker moved to Carrow Road from Leeds on deadline day to provide added depth to the squad, and started on the bench in the Canaries' 0-0 draw at QPR, before making his debut in the closing stages, whilst Kamara joined on loan from Sporting Kansas City.

And Hughton feels the addition of two strikers should help ease the burden on Holt, who has led the line for much of Norwich's season.

"The reason I brought two strikers in was to give us more competition in the forward areas and to give us more options,” Hughton told reporters.

"It’s been a little bit more difficult for Grant this season and, fair play to him, the system we’ve played at times has isolated him a little bit and perhaps he’s had to work a little bit more for the team.

"Previously he had been used to playing with two up, which would share the load a little bit. So we’re full of admiration for the job he’s doing but yes, of course, he needs help, we need options and particularly at this stage."

"What Grant will want to be is exactly the same as you want everybody in the team to be – they want to be Premier League players, and the only way they can be Premier League players is to make sure we stay in this division," Hughton added.

"The only way we’ll stay in this division is to get enough results, so he is the type of player, once he gets on that pitch, his focus is about playing. There is never any harm with competition in all positions and I think particularly the striker position.

"It’s one where generally you are going to maybe take a striker off on 70 minutes to get a little bit of freshness. That is the one area that perhaps you do need to freshen and I think he accepts that."

The 54-year-old handed Becchio his debut in the 87th minute; a cameo that led to a claim for a penalty in the closing stages.

"So the lads say yes [in regards to the penalty decision], I must admit I have not seen it since," said Hughton.

"I did think about getting him on earlier. It is always a tough decision. I wanted to leave Grant on because at that stage we were probably giving away too many free kicks and too many corners.

"With [Bobby] Zamora and [Chris] Samba they are very prolific in the air and with Wes [Hoolahan], he can show real quality in those individual moments. I just felt we needed to get the ball forward and keep it forward in that period, but it was a tough call."