Holt nets two for Development Squad

Grant Holt tussles with Port Vale's Chris Birchall in the Development Squad game at Wigan's Christopher Park training ground
Grant Holt tussles with Port Vale's Chris Birchall in the Development Squad game at Wigan's Christopher Park training ground

GRANT Holt bagged two goals for Wigan Athletic’s Development Squad in a nine-goal thriller against Port Vale at Christopher Park.

The striker, who played 90 minutes for the first time since his return from injury, opened the scoring from the penalty spot but was unable to prevent Latics going down 6-3.

Grant Holt played 90 minutes for the first time since returning from injury

Grant Holt played 90 minutes for the first time since returning from injury

Holt did add another to his tally in the 68th minute, but by then Latics had already shipped six goals.

Fellow first team squad member Louis Robles scored Wigan’s third three minutes later but the pair couldn’t spark a spectacular comeback.

The important issue, though, was that Holt came through unscathed, meaning he has taken one massive step closer to a return to first team action.

It’s fair to say the striker has struggled since arriving at the DW Stadium two years ago. While a regular under Owen Coyle, he fell out of favour under Uwe Rosler and was sent out on loan to Aston Villa and Huddersfield Town.

I’m hopeful we’ll see the Grant Holt that Norwich City fans saw. If that’s the case, he will score goals at this level

Gary Caldwell

Following Rosler’s sacking last season it looked as though Holt would get another chance under Malky Mackay who said the striker would be a big part of his plans.

But in a cruel twist of fate Holt picked up a serious knee ligament injury before he could get going again.

Mackay was replaced at the Latics helm by Gary Caldwell in April, who spoke of his high hopes for the former Norwich man in League One.

“What I can tell you from the conversations I’ve had with him is he’s motivated, he has something to prove to the fans,”Caldwell told supporters at a fans forum event back in June.

“And I’m hopeful we’ll see the Grant Holt that Norwich City fans saw. If that’s the case, he will score goals at this level.”