‘We didn’t win an award to go up, we won the title’ – Canaries ace fired up for Liverpool opener
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Returning to the intensity of the Premier League with a trip to European champions Liverpool could daunt some teams, Todd Cantwell insists that is not the Norwich City way though.
The midfield prospect has shown promising signs of development for the Canaries during pre-season and has put himself in contention to be in Daniel Farke's starting XI at Anfield on Friday (8pm kick-off).
Coming up against the quality of top players such as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino doesn't have the 21-year-old worried though, it's only excitement for the challenge of trying to upset Jurgen Klopp's excellent team.
"I think we're excited, some people have said 'what a horrible first game' but we're excited," the 21-year-old City academy graduate said. "I look at it as, we're in the top league now, we won the Championship, we didn't win an award to go up, we won the Championship title.
"So we want to go out there and show that this is what we're going to do. We're not naïve, it's going to be a very tough game, but you've got to play these teams if you want to play in the top league - and we all want to play in the top league."
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Sporting director Stuart Webber and head coach Farke have already warned supporters they must brace for some difficult moments as the Canaries return to the top flight, due to the depth of quality that the far wealthier top clubs are able to call upon.
The Reds finished just a point behind champions Manchester City last season and thrashed Arsenal, Bournemouth, West Ham, Newcastle and Huddersfield by at least a four-goal winning margin during big wins on their way to the highest points total of a runner-up in Premier League history.
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Cantwell believes the Canaries squad will be ready for those dark times potentially arriving during the campaign though.
He added: "We're all looking forward to it, we're all realistic, we all know that some games are going to be tough. But I think the togetherness in the group, which I can sense is still very much there, is about picking each other up.
"We're all in it together and if one person's head is spinning or they're not thinking straight, it will open up a gate in the Premier League.
"So I think everyone needs to be focussed and concentrated, and to have a maturity in our game. I think we'll be fine."