City's great Dane relishing first taste of Cup
Paddy Davitt Norwich's Danish defender Jens Berthel Askou is relishing the chance to fulfil a lifetime dream in this weekend's televised FA Cup first round trip to minnows Paulton.
Norwich's Danish defender Jens Berthel Askou is relishing the chance to fulfil a lifetime dream in this weekend's televised FA Cup first round trip to minnows Paulton.
The 27-year-old is counting down the days before he makes his bow in the world famous cup competition at the Southern League outfit's modest 2,500 capacity Winterfield Road ground.
“The FA Cup is huge, not just in Denmark but all over the world,” he said. “This will hopefully be my first game in the competition and it's something I have really been looking forward to. Where else can you can play the lowest ranked team left in the competition as we are doing and then a game or two later you can play Man United. That is what is charming about this competition - it can give you some fantastic experiences. British football of course is very big back home as everyone knows so I grew up watching the FA Cup. It's huge for me.”
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Berthel Askou is under no illusions everyone outside Norfolk will be rooting for the underdog.
“It's a different type of game and a different challenge but you have to try and keep winning,” he said. “We know there won't be 20,000 people in the stand so, as I say, its going to be a different atmosphere. Of course we know it would be seen as a big disaster if we lost so you just have to be very professional and respectful of the tournament and the teams you are playing.
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“We know the reason the television cameras will be there - everyone is hoping for one of those crazy results that you get. It's part of the charm of this competition although maybe it's not so charming if you are the big team who loses. For the team we are playing this is a huge occasion for them and we have to be ready for that.”
Berthel Askou insists life could not be better at Carrow Road right now after rapidly established himself as key man in Paul Lambert's defensive unit.
“We're happy at the club at the moment and I'm enjoying life at Norwich City,” he said. “There is certainly not much to complain about. We had a bit of a rough start with a lot of changes but if you take Leeds out of the picture we have got ourselves into a nice winning streak. I think we've won five of the last six and closed that gap a bit to the top.
“It's looking very good but we know there is a long, long way to go and when you're having a good run you need to build on it and work hard every day. For me it's great that I am playing and the team is doing well. The main focus is promotion and everyone here is trying to get the club back into the Championship. That is the goal we are working towards and at the moment we're closing that gap to the top two each week which is giving us a big boost.”