Goal puts Norwich triallist Askou in spotlight
Chris Lakey Jens Berthel Askou was a late addition to Norwich City's touring party in Scotland - but did enough to earn himself a week in Norfolk and the chance to impress Bryan Gunn against stronger opposition.
Jens Berthel Askou was a late addition to Norwich City's touring party in Scotland - but did enough to earn himself a week in Norfolk and the chance to impress Bryan Gunn against stronger opposition.
The 26-year-old central defender joined the squad on Tuesday, played the full 90 minutes against St Johnstone on Thursday and around an hour at Airdrie on Saturday, having scored what proved to be the winning goal.
It was enough for Gunn to invite him for training at Colney, and most likely an appearance against a Manchester United XI next Saturday.
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Askou was released by Turkish side Kasimpasa in the summer and is keen to join the list of Danes who have played for the Canaries - a subject he knows plenty about.
“I am Danish, we follow English football a lot,” he said. “It has always been one of the biggest football countries in Europe. I knew Norwich City, there has been Danish players playing here as well. I watched Norwich City before when they were in the Premier League so I know a bit about it.
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“I have enjoyed it very much so far. I have had a very good impression of all the players and the staff, they are very nice people and I am enjoying the pre-season - there are a lot of nice guys, I am not here just to spend some holiday, I am here to see if I can be a new member of the team. I am hoping it's an option to me to sign for Norwich.”
Askou has impressed with his strength, but with Michael Nelson, Gary Doherty and Dejan Stefanovic on the books and two youngsters, Dario Dumic and David Stephens, waiting in the wings, he has to convince Gunn that he is worth a contract.
“So far I have been here for or five days and he has asked me to join them for the trip to Norwich tomorrow and train with them next week so obviously he hasn't sent me away yet so it is a positive sign,” said Askou.
The goal against Airdrie, when he headed home a Paul McVeigh cross at the back post, certainly did his chances no harm.
“I have always been around the box and set-pieces trying to make a goal or two in a season and so far in my career I have managed to make a couple of goals every season,” he said.
Injuries to a trio of players took the shine off the finale to the tour.
The Canaries headed back to Norfolk today with three calf strains which need to be sorted out before business on the pitch becomes much more serious.
Wes Hoolahan, Matty Pattison and impressive triallist Goran Maric all picked up similar injuries, and will join striker Cody McDonald (knee), who played just 17 minutes on tour, and youngsters Korey Smith (groin) and Luke Daley (thigh) in the treatment room.
“Hopefully once we get back to Norwich they will be with the physio for a small amount of time and then back on the training field,” said Gunn, right.