Ashton backs ‘special’ City to spring an upset
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Dean Ashton feels Norwich City are on to something ‘special’ as they bid to defy the odds and stay in the Premier League.
The Canaries are already being touted with relegation in many quarters, with Stuart Pearce the latest to suggest they are in for an uphill struggle.
Former City striker Ashton, however, has seen enough of Daniel Farke's title-winning squad to predict they can make a splash in the big time.
"As always that first season back in the Premier League you are looking to stay up," he said. "I just think with what I saw last season, it is something I have never seen before at this football club, in terms of the way they played and the sense that everyone was together.
"This feels special and there is no reason why they can't go into the Premier League and cause a lot of teams trouble and take heart from the way Wolves did it, and look to try and push towards mid-table and stay away from the relegation battle.
"But that is much easier to say than do and after the first six fixtures they will certainly know where they are at."
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Norwich face an opening weekend trip to Champions League winners Liverpool along with duels against Europa League holders Chelsea and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City all inside the first five weeks.
Ashton, speaking to Sky Sports, believes it is the core of Farke's Championship squad who need to step up.
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"They are not going to go out and spend a lot of money," said Ashton, who was a key figure in a Norwich side that almost pulled off a great escape back in 2005. "They have brought in this model for a reason and if the worst came to the worst and they were relegated they still keep the nucleus of the playing squad and financially they are not in a situation where they will get into difficulties.
"There is no doubt other teams will be looking at their younger players but, equally, I am sure the scouting system at Norwich will be looking at players well in advance they could bring in.
"I personally think there is a case for some experience but they will not want to upset what they had last season. That was fantastic, in the way they got a group of players and staff together, and they need to take that into the Premier League."