Plenty to play for as Norwich City defend unbeaten pre-season record against Brighton with Championship kick-off looming
PUBLISHED: 12:18 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 28 July 2017
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Finishing pre-season unbeaten will be Norwich City’s target when Premier League new boys Brighton come to Carrow Road tomorrow.
That is the hope of talented midfield youngster James Maddison, who looks likely to play a key role against the Seagulls in City’s final friendly ahead of the Championship kick-off.
Norwich boss Daniel Farke is putting the final touches to his preparations for the opening-day trip to Fulham on August 5 but Chris Hughton’s team have games against Genoa and Atletico Madrid still to come before their top-flight opener at home to Manchester City on August 12.
“The season seems so close now, Fulham is going to be a tough test but one more game to go,” Maddison said. “I’m glad it’s at Carrow Road, hopefully there will be a good turnout, a good performance from the boys and hopefully we can have an unbeaten pre-season.
“It will be a step up in class again, obviously it will be the last pre-season game, it will be a tough test for us, Premier League opposition, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully there’s some more minutes on the pitch.”
The Canaries have won six and drawn one of their seven warm-up games, following Tuesday’s 2-0 win at League One side Charlton thanks to goals from Yanic Wildschut and Steven Naismith.
With Wes Hoolahan struggling for full fitness and Alex Pritchard injuring ankle ligaments it has allowed 20-year-old playmaker Maddison to play a pivotal part in Farke’s preparations.
“You just want minutes on the pitch and pre-season is obviously a good opportunity for me and other young lads to go and showcase what we can do and what we can give to the squad,” he continued.
“Obviously with the new boss in everyone’s got a fresh slate and hopefully I’ve impressed and I’ll continue to do that and I’ll keep working hard to force my way in.”
Maddison added: “There’s a really good atmosphere in the camp, there’s a lot of new players but we all get on well.
“We spent a bit of time away in Ireland and then in Germany and that gives you time to get to know the new players and the new staff and everyone’s taken to it really well. There’s a really good feel to the group at the moment on the pitch and off the pitch so that can only be a positive.”
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