Keep on doubting us, is City ace’s message
Jamal Lewis is using Norwich City’s critics as extra fuel to play his part in a Premier League fightback.
The left-back insists plenty were willing to write-off the Canaries' survival chances before a ball was even kicked this season, and the defender admits the top flight has proved unforgiving.
Norwich head to Everton this weekend bidding for a first win in eight after slipping to the bottom of the table prior to the international break.
"It feels good to be doubted to try and prove these people wrong," he said. "We were doubted from the outset, in terms of the lack of money we have spent and keeping the same team. The gap is big. I am not going to lie.
"The top eight of the Championship and the lower half of the Premier League, not so much, but compared to the top six, top nine of the Premier League there is a big difference.
"Obviously the money these teams have means they can spend big if they have a poor season.
"In the Premier all these guys are sharp mentally, they are not just athletes. When I faced (Mo) Salah I think he sensed early on I was quite athletic so he wanted to play one touch and go.
"In the Championship, they wouldn't do that, they would just play their own way. It is good to get exposed to that quality."
Lewis pulled out of Northern Ireland's second Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany over the international break for further treatment on a knee issue.
The 21-year-old is now first choice for club and country and loving being part of the big time since grabbing his first team chance under Daniel Farke's guidance at Carrow Road.
"Staying in the Premier League is our goal right now but to get respect for my game, both at club and international level, would also be nice," said Lewis, speaking to JD Football's Youtube channel. "For me personally he showed a lot of faith in me from the very start.
"It doesn't matter who you are, who is on the highest wage or the more experienced player.
"If he feels you are the best person in that position, then you will play. You might make a howler one week, and feel you might be out of the team the following week, but he keeps faith and that can only help you grow as a player.
"I have to keep working at my game and I know I need to chip in with assists and end product."