Brown is on a goals mission
DAVID CUFFLEY Striker Chris Brown is determined to give City boss Peter Grant a big headache this season - in the nicest possible way.
Striker Chris Brown is determined to give City boss Peter Grant a big headache this season - in the nicest possible way.
The former Sunderland forward set the Canaries on course for victory with the opening goal in Saturday's 2-0 success against AGOVV Apeldoorn in Holland.
And he is well aware he will need to produce more of the same against Championship opposition in the face of new competition for places up front in the coming season.
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The arrival of Jamie Cureton and David Strihavka, added to the spring and autumn options of Chris Martin and Dion Dublin, will not make it easy for Brown to force his way into Grant's starting eleven.
But the 22-year-old insists having four or five strikers is essential for any side with promotion ambitions, and is ready to stake his claim for a place.
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He said: “You look at the teams that went up last year. They all had three, four even five strikers who could come on at any time. You get two or three injuries like happened at the end of last season and the gaffer was struggling to get a team.
“If we all stay fit and we're all doing well it gives the manager the right kind of headache.
“Even in training you can see everyone's working hard and trying to gel together. I think that's what we need. Hopefully we're going to have a big squad of fit players. We've all got to believe that we're good enough to play and that's what the gaffer wants, that we all put 110 per cent in.”
City fans saw little of Brown last season. He made just seven senior appearances after his £325,000 move from Sunderland before succumbing to hamstring and back problems in late February.
He did not reappear in City colours until the first pre-season game at Exeter, then scored at Lowestoft last week and again in Saturday's game at Harderwijk, after which he admitted: “It's going to take a while to get used to the games again. I think it was five months until my first game last week, so it will take a while, but today is the best I've felt in a long time.
“Thankfully I got myself a goal and Curo got one as well, so it was good to win and good to keep a clean sheet.
“It seemed to get hotter as soon as four o'clock came. They were obviously fit and strong, so it was always going to be a good workout.”
As City prepare for their second tour match against FC Zwolle in Harderwijk tomorrow night, Brown is hoping his summer rehabilitation has seen off his injury problems.
He said: “I knew it was a big year for me. You look at it and you think you've got to meet the challenge head on. The only way I can do that is by looking after myself, making myself strong. The injuries I pick up are through weaknesses in my legs and I've done a lot of legwork and stuff like that.
“I've just got to hope that they all ease off and I get a bit of luck, most importantly, and hopefully play as many games as possible.”
He said he had no regrets about leaving Sunderland, despite seeing his old club win the Coca-Championship and regain Premiership status.
He said: “I've loved every minute of my time here apart from the injuries. I've settled in really well. The lads have been different class.
“I like the area. It's a new challenge in life more than anything because I've moved away.
“It's a challenge that I'm looking forward to and the best way to do that is by doing it on the pitch.”
Brown will be hoping to get his first competitive goal for City when the season starts on August 11.