Top man out . . massive blow for Norwich

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:38 04 March 2010

NORWICH City boss Paul Lambert may have to look no further than youngsters Chris Martin and Oli Johnson as he ponders life without leading scorer Grant Holt.

Norwich 1 Brentford 0

NORWICH City boss Paul Lambert may have to look no further than youngsters Chris Martin and Oli Johnson as he ponders life without leading scorer Grant Holt.

Holt is likely to miss three games after picking up a straight red in the pulsating 1-0 home win over Brentford on Saturday which sent the Canaries to the top of League One.

The 23-goalstriker - who has already served one suspension this season for accumulating five yellows - will miss tomorrow's trip to Walsall, the home game against Hartlepool on Saturday and the game at Millwall a week later.

But any concerns over the immediate future were eased 13 minutes from time when new-boy Johnson produced another piece of magic from his box of tricks to set up Martin for an exquisite finish to clinch the points.

It was a satisfying moment for Lambert, who signed Johnson just over a fortnight ago and who has now persuaded Martin to sign a new three-and-a-half year deal with City.

“He (Johnson) is incredible at the minute,” said Lambert. “He's only a young kid - he played non-league football for a good spell and has come into this environment where the demand is there every single time to produce and he lit up the place again when he came on and the impact to set Chrissy up was terrific.

“His enthusiasm will carry him a good bit and the adrenalin and the crowd - all those sorts of things. People have to be patient with him, he is only a young lad, but so far he has been terrific.”

So will Johnson - who was playing non-league football 15 months ago - be able to step into the most explosive boots in the country?

“We will lose Grant, but somebody else will have to come in and give us a hand,” said Lambert. “Grant Holt has been absolutely sensational for us, not just on the field of play but off it, so it is a big blow, but we had to play a good bit of the game without him as well, so whoever comes in will do great for us.

“We have got a few things we can do. We have to adjust, that is the letter of the law, and try and keep driving it on.”

If Lambert does go with Johnson and Martin up front, he knows what he will get, whereas the other options may be more of an unknown quantity.

Martin's finish was as perfect as the reverse pass from Johnson that set it up - and the perfect way to celebrate his new deal.

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