‘It’s a massive game’ - Surman knows how much City and Cherries will crave early points

Andrew Surman, right, in action during Bournemouth's 2-1 win over Norwich in the League Cup fourth round in October 2018 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Andrew Surman, right, in action during Bournemouth's 2-1 win over Norwich in the League Cup fourth round in October 2018 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

It may be just the third round of Championship fixtures but Andrew Surman sees Sunday’s clash of his former clubs Bournemouth and Norwich as ‘massive’ to the promotion race.

The 34-year-old is currently a free agent after his seven-year spell on the south coast came to an end last month, after making just nine appearances last season.

Prior to that the midfielder had scored eight goals in 58 games for the Canaries, including a prominent role in the second half of the 2010-11 Championship promotion campaign under Paul Lambert.

“It’s a massive game for both clubs,” Surman said, speaking to City’s website ahead of the game. “I know it’s a long season, but it’s important in the Championship to get momentum early I think because you want to be up and in the top six as the season goes on.

“When you’re in the top six in the Championship, you play like a top six team. When you’re mid-table or down below, you feel like you’re always scrapping to get up the league, whereas when you’re up there you’re usually playing well and with confidence.

“Both teams will want to win it and put themselves up there in that position where they’re already within touching distance of the top two. It’s important to pick up points early in the league.

“It will be a good game with both teams coming down from the Premier League last season with very good squads, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.”

Surman was a regular as City finished in mid-table in the Premier League under Lambert in 2011-12 but injuries knocked him off course and it was a successful loan with Bournemouth during 2013-14 which re-ignited his career.

MORE: Surman on his Canaries memories

The former Wolves man made a total of 226 appearances for the Cherries and doesn’t want to hang up his boots just yet either, adding: “It’s a completely different window to any other - it’s unprecedented because of the Covid situation, so it’s difficult for clubs to invest in players.

“There’s still a little while left in the window, and being out of contract means I can sign at any time, but it’s just one of those things that’s out of my control really if a club wants to sign me or not. I’m keeping myself ticking over, keeping fit, and hopefully a club will come in for me and I can carry on playing for a few more years.”

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