‘He will play at the top’ - City skipper sure Chelsea loanee will shine
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Billy Gilmour’s first Norwich City assist allowed skipper Grant Hanley to head home the winner against Southampton, as the Scottish duo returned to Premier League action.
The 20-year-old started four of the first five games of the top-flight season for City but didn’t make it off the bench during any of Daniel Farke’s final six matches, featuring more for Scotland in the last couple of months.
After a rusty first half, In conjunction was a disjointed team display, the youngster started to find his groove as Dean Smith’s first half-time team talk worked a treat and was rewarded with Hanley heading in Gilmour’s corner in the 79th minute.
There has been widespread frustration in Chelsea and Scotland circles that the talented midfielder had swiftly fallen out of favour but he was in Smith’s first starting XI and received a standing ovation for his efforts as he was replaced in the 86th minute.
Although international team-mates Hanley and Kenny McLean are close by for advice at Norwich, his captain doesn’t think their support has been required.
“I don’t think you need to say much about Billy Gilmour. He will play at the top of the top, with the ability that he’s got, his attitude and mentality,” said Hanley.
“You only see that in certain players and they’re the players that play at the top, so there’s no doubt in my mind that Billy Gilmour will play right at the very top.
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“So there not too much you need to say to him. He’s unbelievable every single day, his mentality. He’s never a problem even when he’s obviously had a bit of a tough time with not playing.
“But he’s probably the best player every day in training, every time he plays he’s probably the best player. So nothing to say about Billy Gilmour, apart from I think he’ll do alright!”
With a smile, Hanley added: “But actually he was supposed to put that corner front post, he over-hit it.”
As grounded as ever, even after scoring a winner on his 30th birthday, Hanley was quick to stress that the Canaries must not get carried away with their win.
It lifted them above Newcastle to 19th and built on the 2-1 win at Brentford prior to the international break but was far from smooth sailing, with Theo Walcott heading a glorious chance wide for Saints in injury-time.
“It’s important for us, especially at this stage of the season, but it’s important to not get too far ahead of ourselves,” he continued.
“In football, if you’re too far ahead of yourselves you get slapped in the face quickly.
“So in our dressing room we’ll definitely stay humble and we’ll continue to look to improve.”
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