Askou to play the waiting game
Chris Lakey Jens Berthel Askou says he will reluctantly accept the role of observer as long as it means Norwich City remain on top of the League One pile. The Canaries defender has seen his position of strength at the heart of City's defence eroded since he suffered a broken metatarsal at Yeovil in mid-December.
Jens Berthel Askou says he will reluctantly accept the role of observer as long as it means Norwich City remain on top of the League One pile.
The Canaries defender has seen his position of strength at the heart of City's defence eroded since he suffered a broken metatarsal at Yeovil in mid-December.
Michael Nelson was drafted in and has started each of the nine league games - eight of them wins - since the Dane was sidelined, and in January, City boss Paul Lambert added to his paltry central defensive reserves by signing Zak Whitbread from Millwall.
Askou now finds himself in a queue to get his place back - but admits he finds it hard to make a case for himself given the team's progress in the promotion race.
“That is the main target for everybody,” he said. “We need to get that promotion secured and how that happens, if I am going to be a part of that or not from now on, that is not the main thing. The main thing is to get the club up there in the Championship and from a personal perspective I am hoping to get back in at some point and be a part of it again.
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“Of course it is frustrating getting an injury, especially as I was a part of it and it was going well, but I have enjoyed watching the team from the sidelines and doing fantastic for the last couple of months so everything is going the right way, so I am just happy the lads have carried on doing what they are doing.
“Who would change a team that's been winning so many games as we have the last month?
“It's obvious that you don't change much so of course I have to be patient now and whenever I get the chance I just need to fit straight in and do well.
“It is great competition now, we have a very strong squad, especially when people are out with injury or suspension.
“It is difficult to get back in the team even though you have been playing regularly.
“That is just good for the team and for the club. There are plenty of good players to cover when something happens. There is still a lot of games to go so we will be needing everybody.
“I have an ambition - I want to play in the first XI, that's why I'm here, but the main thing is to get promotion. I am hoping to be a part of it again and do my part.”
Askou's comeback continued in the reserves on Wednesday afternoon at a snowy Carrow Road, where he added another hour to the half he had away to Wycombe last week.
“Physically I feel fine,” he said. “It's always the last bit of timing you need after being out for a while, you can always improve a bit, but physically I felt okay today.
“I feel fit, I don't feel anything with my injury so that's a good sign. It is just up to the gaffer now to judge when I am ready to be thrown in.
“It is all about performance. If you get in there and you do well then you will always play some football and get some games. You have to wait for your chance and when you get it you have to step in and play well and if you do that and the team wins then it's difficult for him to make changes