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GARY HOLT: NOW I CAN FORGET '02

27 May 2015

Wembley win banishes memories of play-off heartache

GARY Holt is pleased he can now finally get over his previous Championship play-off experience after Norwich City's victory against Middlesbrough at Wembley.

The Canaries' First Team Coach was part of the 2002 team that agonisingly lost on penalties to Birmingham City at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Holt, 42, has been an ever-present on the staff this season since rejoining the Club from Falkirk and says he's delighted to taste the winning feeling this time around.

"It puts something to bed, let's say, so I've over the moon about that," he told reporters after goals from Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond fired City to the Premier League.

"That was a phenomenal day as well, but obviously winning it puts the icing on the cake. It exorcised some demons.

"I felt once we got the first goal, the second goal was coming, and then we just saw the game out which was pleasing.

"We haven't lost an away game under the gaffer, and this was effectively another away game for us and we executed the game plan perfectly."

City quickly put themselves in a commanding position at Wembley, going two goals up inside the first 15 minutes in front of a shellshocked Middlesbrough support.

Holt was impressed with the professionalism of the players, and reserved praise for Redmond, who backed up his goal against Ipswich with another crucial strike.

"He's been excellent. He's shown maturity and he's grown experience-wise in games. People forget that he's only 21," he added.

"He's still got a lot to learn but he's getting it. He's improving every game and long may it continue.

"The players showed they are men. They've shown that they can take instructions on board and execute it.

"That's what you want. We did the preparation and got it into them, and our job was done them. It was down to them to go and do it.

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