Byram enjoyed an ‘extra special’ early birthday present with key role in superb Canaries win
- Credit: PA
Sam Byram enjoyed an early birthday present when he made his first Premier League start for Norwich City and helped his new club to earn a momentous victory over Manchester City.
The right-back was signed from West Ham for just £750,000 in the summer after injury problems had held up his flourishing career and had only played in the League Cup loss at Crawley and made a brief appearance as a substitute during the 3-1 home win over Newcastle ahead of Saturday's match.
Yet with Max Aarons ruled out for around a month with an ankle injury, Byram grabbed his chance with both hands and impressed with a determined defensive shift, marking England star Raheem Sterling as the reigning champions were beaten 3-2 at Carrow Road.
"Buzzing. One of the best teams in the world, to get three points against them and also play well, it's everything that we aimed for," he said, ahead of his 26th birthday today.
"It's the same as after every win but when you beat Man City it's that little bit extra special. It's three more points, you celebrate and come Monday you are looking to the next game, to take this spirit into that one."
Byram was born in Essex but moved to York as a child, coming through the academy system at Leeds before making the move to West Ham in a deal reportedly worth around £4m in January 2016.
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Asked about his performance, Byram demonstrated some typically dry Yorkshire wit when he replied: "I think I did alright. The job of the defence is to stop their best players scoring and I think as a whole unit, the winger in front of me, whether it was Emi (Buendia) or Todd (Cantwell), they really helped out and we defended as a team."
The defender was being modest however, as several of his strong tackles were greeted by resounding cheers from the Carrow Road faithful, on a special evening.
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He added: "They were celebrating every tackle! We also had a spell where we were playing really good football and I think they could appreciate that as well."
Last season Byram was restricted to just eight appearances while on loan at Nottingham Forest, due to a serious knee injury, so he was determined to take his opportunity against Pep Guardiola's side.
"It's probably one of the hardest pre-seasons I've had but my fitness has stood me in good stead," he continued.
"The intensity of training is like a match, so whenever someone gets a knock you're 100 percent ready pretty much. It definitely helped me and I'm just looking to help the team in whatever way I can."