Norwich entertain Brentford in a must win game. Brentford come to Norwich in a must win game. So, put your house, car and children on a draw. Jon Rogers spoke to Billy Grant about the big game on Saturday.
Jon: So! Brentford vs Norwich. The game of dream as no-one is calling it. We're struggling, you're struggling. Shall we all agree to a 6-6 draw in the first half. Give the fans something, then free for all in the second?
Billy: I think so. We'll be happy to score 6 goals at Carrow Road. But I have a sneaky feeling we may edge it in the 2nd half. I'd take a 9-8 now. Scott Hogan is back on fire. And he's got a temper on him.
Jon: I'll come back to him shortly, but how has this season been for you guys?
Billy: Up and down. We're a good side. Not a brilliant side. But not a bad side either.
We're not as dynamic as we were last time we played you, and we aren't as flowing as we were at our best last season - mainly due to the loss of Sergi Canos on the wing who Brentford fans love. But we BATTERED Reading. And beat Brighton 2-0 at their place. Outplaying them, so we can be decent.
Jon: Why so low in the league then?
Billy: On our post match podcast every Birmingham fan said we absolutely battered them last week. Three points would not have been unjust. One point would have even been a travesty. But we missed some clear cut chances, were unlucky and their keeper played a blinder. So, low coz we've won 1 in 8
We were shite against Fulham. But should have beaten Blackburn up at their place. Again we battered them second half but didn't take our chances. It's still a very tight league. If (and I say if) we beat you on Saturday were only two points behind you.
Jon: Well our form is shocking. Utterly shocking. So, let's talk about your dangerman. Who is the one player that we need to keep a close eye on?
Billy: Our biggest dangerman at the moment is the guy who could deny you the 3 points you so badly need. Our keeper Daniel Bentley. We signed him Southend I'm the summer
We're already worried about someone poaching him. He's brilliant.
Do you remember that brilliant save David Button did at your place a few seasons ago?
Jon: I don’t recall what I had for breakfast mate. Sorry.
Billy: Well, he does them in his sleep. Not that he sleeps during the match of course ...
Other than that. Upfront Hogan is quality. We bought him from Rochdale for £750k at the start of that season when we played you last. He was meant to be our main striker (talking a two league jump). With a young rookie called Andre Gray - who we just signed from Luton for £500k - his understudy. He got injured in his first match against Rotherham ....Andre Gray stepped in and had to get up to speed quick...
The rest is history there ....Meanwhile ... Scott H was out for two years. Got two ACL injuries in that time, and we thought it was all over for him to be honest.
Jon: Well, the reason I asked about Hogan, is we've been touted for a £8m bid for him. What sort of player is he? Is he worth that amount? And can we have him now?
Billy: He's scored 11 so far this season,, and the reality is he hasn’t quite been getting the service he needs. If we had a Pritchard, Canos or Jota in the team. There is an argument to say he would have scored a lot more. He's pacy ... a pain in the arse to defend against. He plays off the shoulder of the defender ... and they hate defending against him. He has said that he wants to play in the Premier League .. So I guess unless someone makes him a HUGE offer, and unless Brentford get a really good offer in January, he'll still be with us. He's pretty ambitious.
Jon: What about Norwich. Who do you think will cause you issues? And you can't say Canos or Pritch. They aren't playing for us!
Billy: The Canos and Pritchard not playing for you is a bug bear for us Brentford fans.
They're great players ... and I can't understand why they can't get into your team .They would walk into our team. Cameron Jerome - he scored a goal against us at Griffin Park when you beat us 3-0. We played really well that game. Then you just went bling, bang, boom ... and scored three goals.
I also think we may have to keep our eye on Graham Dorrans as well. If your midfield is as active as it was a few years ago it could be a good match ... but this potentially is where the game will be won. If we're on our game, and the 'Ginger Messi' Ryan Woods is on his game, it could be all over for Norwich.
Jon: So, if I was to say to you a vast majority of Norwich fans want our manager out - what's your outsiders thought to that?
Billy: Pretty amazed tell you the truth. He did really well for you a couple of seasons ago, and taking a drop will always be tough. You've got good players. And your manager seems clued up. Jack from Talk Norwich City spoke on our podcast this week. He said he felt that Alex Neil was a future Premier League manager.
Jon: He’s also a past Premier League manager too.
Billy: But he also felt that it may be time for a change. Personally I believe if you have a decent manager you give him a chance. Last season. A Villa, would have sacked Dean Smith for the run he had at the start of the year. Then ironically, Villa fans were begging for him to come to them at the start of this season after they sacked Di Canio.
Jon: Six games on the spin we've lost now. And a damp rag of a relegation. And poor recruitment. And not being able to get the best out of players. Let’s see. Hopefully it will be a fun match. What do you think the score will be?
Billy: Realistically I reckon we'll bounce back this weekend. 2-1 to the mighty Bees. Oh and Send Canos and Pritchard down to Griffin Park. We'll happily get them playing decent football again. And will even throw you £2m to take them both off your hands.