'That's the bottom line' - Dowell clear on his City priorities
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Kieran Dowell is building an understanding with Norwich City’s attacking stars and hopes that can continue if the Canaries are a Premier League side next season.
Big things were expected of the summer signing from Everton but ankle surgery after just his third appearance forced a fresh start for the 23-year-old when he returned to action in December.
It took time for Dowell to find his form and fitness but with three goals and an assist from five consecutive starts, the midfielder is starting to find the balance required to play between the roving creative talents of Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell.
“We like to have two or three in the pockets (of space). If one of us comes deeper then that means I go into Toddy’s space on the left, or vice versa with Emi,” he explained.
“It’s getting that appreciation of space and trying to complement each other.”
With promotion all but certain ahead of Saturday evening’s home clash with Bournemouth, when victory will definitely seal the deal, Dowell is looking to build on his momentum in the ‘number 10’ position.
Mario Vrancic has featured in that central attacking midfield role the most this season, with three goals and five assists from 29 league appearances, but the 32-year-old is out of contract this summer.
Lukas Rupp had also shown very promising signs in that role prior to his current hamstring injury, while Marco Stiepermann struggled to reproduce his excellent 2018-19 Championship form once in the Premier League and has only recently returned to action after a lengthy battle against an energy-sapping virus.
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Dowell hopes he has laid his claim to getting chances in that role if Daniel Farke’s team are playing in the top flight next season.
“It should follow on pretty similarly, with how the boss wants to play,” Dowell said of those Premier League prospects. “It’s the same principles in whatever league it is.
“I think the job, from my position, is to create and score goals. That’s the bottom line really.”
The former England Under-21 international made his Everton debut as a 17-year-old, starting a 1-0 home defeat to Russian side Krasnodar in the Europa League.
He only got to make two Premier League appearances for his boyhood club though, before loans at Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Derby and Wigan, one of which was briefly as a substitute and the other was starting a 3-0 home win over an already-relegated Norwich in May 2016.
Dowell added: “The quality we’ve got is definitely Premier League quality, it’s a joy to play with these lads.”