‘I had a knife between my teeth for the game’ - Cantwell pleased with FA Cup impact
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Todd Cantwell was determined to regain Daniel Farke’s trust as he returned to Norwich City’s starting line-up in the FA Cup - and did so in style.
The academy product started the midweek Premier League loss to Everton on the bench but grabbed the spotlight with a superb strike against Manchester United, notching his seventh goal of the season during the agonising quarter-final defeat.
“It’s something I knew I was capable of doing,” Cantwell said of his seven-goal haul. “It’s easy to say things, you have to go and put it out onto the pitch.
“I’m thankful to the manager for putting his trust back in me. I wasn’t fantastic against Southampton and he’s given me the chance and I had a knife between my teeth for the game.”
The England Under-21 international put in a hard working display and swerved a low drive into the bottom-right corner from almost 25 yards out in the 75th minute to score City’s first goal in four months and just their third in open play of 2020.
Unfortunately the goal couldn’t be celebrated with supporters as the game was being played behind closed doors at Carrow Road - but Cantwell did use his big moment on live television to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It felt good,” he said of his excellent equaliser. “I’ve been working a lot on finishing and the boys are always pushing for me to have a shot.
“It fell to me in a position where in the back of my head I was always having a shot. There was an incident afterwards when I probably should have done the same thing but hindsight is a beautiful thing.”
Cantwell had moved further forward after the hour mark, when Onel Hernandez had come on, and was playing in the central attacking midfield role in which he had thrived during his academy days.
The 22-year-old, who has been with City since under-11 level, has played the majority of his senior football on the wing so far but proved he can thrive on the edge of the box with his thumping strike.
“As a kid you have favourite positions and that was definitely mine,” he added. “But playing as left winger in this team isn’t too much different. You’re asked to come inside and I’m given the freedom to come and do that.”