Byram relishing Palace test and says City must retain positive mindset
PUBLISHED: 16:57 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 27 September 2019
Norwich City’s mentality will play a key role in their bid for Premier League survival, according to right-back Sam Byram ahead of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace.
Byram has been provided with an opportunity in the starting XI following Max Aarons' injury while on England U21 duty, beginning with an impressive performance during victory over Manchester City on his first league start for the Canaries.
He's relishing the trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday with City looking to respond to the 2-0 defeat suffered at Burnley last weekend - although Aarons is back in contention after a rapid recovery from an injury problem.
"Everyone from sixth place and below is trying to take points off each other," Byram said. "Being a newly promoted side, people would assume that we'll be near the bottom, which is not necessarily true.
"Palace want to stay in the Premier League, as we do. We need to approach every game with the same mindset - that it's a new task, a different challenge, and a chance to gain points.
"Crystal Palace will have the same mindset as us. It's a new game and a new opportunity for points. They'll be as up for it as we are. They have good players with an experienced manager so that it will be a tough test for us."
Palace are unbeaten in their last five league games at Selhurst Park and can consider themselves unfortunate not to have taken all three points from last weekend 1-1 home draw with Wolves.
Boss Roy Hodgson has constructed a defensively resilient side who have struggled for goals. On that evidence, Byram will be hoping to ensure their blunt attacking record is maintained after Saturday's encounter.
"They're a solid, structured team. It's a hard place to go," Byram continued, speaking to City's official website. "We had a different game plan for that game.
"It didn't work out how we wanted it to but there's another chance this weekend to pick points up. It's a different test and one we're more than ready for."
The ex-West Ham defender joined City in the summer and has to be patient while deputising for Aarons, but states that the age profile and togetherness of the dressing room is aiding his transition into his new surroundings.
"There are a lot of players my age or a few years younger," added the 26-year-old. "I wasn't too sure before I came if there would be a divide in the group because there are a lot of foreign players, but it's the complete opposite.
"We've got a lot of German players who all speak good English. There's a real togetherness. Getting promoted together helps that. They're all really nice characters and personalities, so that helps."