Norwich City forward Marley Watkins hoping for central role during new Championship campaign
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Nelson Oliveira and Cameron Jerome may occupy Norwich City’s main striker berths but Marley Watkins feels he can offer head coach Daniel Farke another central option.
The summer arrival showed Canaries fans what he could do at the weekend when crashing home a fine goal from the edge of the box to equalise in a 1-1 friendly draw with Premier League new boys Brighton.
Watkins occupied a support striker role just behind Jerome, having largely played on the right or as a central attacking midfielder during pre-season. However the 26-year-old, who received his first Wales call-up at the end of last season, believes he can also be a threat as an attacking spearhead.
“I feel I’m versatile but I do feel I’m most effective down the middle,” Watkins said. “But that’s just my opinion, obviously wherever the gaffer wants me to play, I’ll play. It’s a long season and we’ll need everyone involved so it’s wherever I’m chosen.”
The former Swansea City trainee, signed on a free after his contract at Barnsley expired, looks likely to start in City’s season opener at Fulham on Saturday.
That tough fixture, against a team who reached the play-offs last season, can’t come soon enough for City’s players after almost six weeks of tough physical preparation during pre-season.
“Proper pleased, I think every player is to be honest, but obviously it’s an important part too,” Watkins said with a grin after City’s eight friendly games came to a conclusion against Brighton.
“It’s all about working hard and getting to know your team-mates and stuff like that but now we’re ready to go and put a good performance in this week.”
Calling all Norwich City fans: Subscribe to our re-launched Pinkun Youtube channel
City also head for Craven Cottage having not been beaten in any of those games, winning six, with Watkins adding: “Winning is a habit, so it’s about trying to maintain that as long as possible and being winners on and off the pitch. It’s what we strive to do.”
The Cottagers had one of the most attractive styles of play in the division under Slavisa Jokanovic last season and won 3-1 at Carrow Road in April – but that does not worry the City players.
“They bop it and stuff but we’re a top team as well,” Watkins continued.
“So it should be a good game for the neutral but we’ll be looking to get all three points.”