Askou adapting to winning ways
Chris Lakey Jens Berthel Askou is taking the transition from Turkish football to the English game in his considerable stride - but says winning makes it so much easier.
Jens Berthel Askou is taking the transition from Turkish football to the English game in his considerable stride - but says winning makes it so much easier.
The Danish central defender has settled quickly into City's backline as well as to life in Norfolk, where he's made quite an impression.
The 27-year-old heads the ball further than some people can kick it - and his boots pack some power as well, as he proved on Tuesday night when he put the ball on to the roof of the Jarrold Stand.
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“I had a couple of mistimed clearances in the second half so I gave it a bit extra and I just tried to clear it up the line,” he explained. “I don't know what happened, it just went over the roof - it wasn't my intention to blast the ball out of the stadium.”
And the long-distance headers?
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“That's my job as a defender so that's why I am trying to do, to just play simple at the moment because that is what is giving us the points and the wins that we need so desperately at the moment,” he said. “When I am successful doing that everybody is happy.”
The power clearances perhaps disguise the growing influence Askou is having in the backline, but he says he is still adapting to the English style.
“I am still learning and trying to adapt to the British style, which is much more direct and physical than I was used to in Turkey,” he said.
“It is a bit more like Denmark, even though in Denmark we try to play a lot more patiently. I am trying to adapt as quickly as I can and as long as we are winning it gets easier.
“We are very focused and very intensive in the training sessions and it is going okay at the moment, we are getting some good results and we need to keep working hard and be really concentrated.
“The confidence is growing at the moment after two consecutive wins and another clean sheet - we have a lot of positive things to take on to the next game on Saturday.”
If Askou needs a little more time to settle on the field, the fans - 12,540 of whom saw City beat Brentford on Tuesday - and the city of Norwich are helping him off-field
“It's fantastic - although we gave them a rough start they've been fantastic supporting us from day one and it really helped a lot,” he said.
“I maybe expected half of that - we had rain and we had all the odds against us so it was amazing and, of course, it gives us the last per cent we need to step up and win the game.
“The fans are very nice. It is a very nice city, Norwich, and very friendly, with a good friendly tone between the players and the fans and I like that.
“From the beginning when I was on trial here I felt this was a really nice place to be and everybody has been open arms and very good in welcoming me, the fans, the staff and all the players - I have only positive things to say.”