‘I really want to kick on’ – Cantwell pleased to score for City and sure final score flattered Atalanta

Todd Cantwell celebrates opening the scoring for Norwich City against Atalanta Picture: Paul Chester

Todd Cantwell celebrates opening the scoring for Norwich City against Atalanta Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Todd Cantwell proved to be one of the highlights of a rather strange pre-season friendly for Norwich City and the midfielder felt there were still positives despite a 4-1 loss to top Italian side Atalanta.

The Canaries were impressive in the first half and led thanks to Cantwell finishing calmly in the 16th minute after being teed up by Mo Leitner, scoring his first goal of a bright personal pre-season campaign.

City were the dominant side and Teemu Pukki went close to extending the lead on three occasions, only for a defensive mistake from Timm Klose to allow Atalanta back into the game.

The Serie A side, who finished third last year to qualify for the Champions League and who out-scored champions Juventus, then took charge amid a host of substitutions from both sides and scored two late goals to add some gloss for a 4-1 win.

Cantwell said: "It's nice to get a goal and get a bit of momentum myself, I feel like I've had a good pre-season so far and I really want to kick on from that.

"But all in all, team performance always comes over any individual performance, it's a bit of a shame that a goal doesn't really mean anything.

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"But the game could have been different and we've got to look at the positives from the game."

The 21-year-old was given the chance to play in the central attacking midfield role, in chief support to Pukki, and was often pulling the strings in attack during that slick first half.

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"They've qualified for Champions League football this season, we expected a tough battle," he added. "I think, first half, on reflection, we could have been 2-0 or 3-0 up, to be honest.

"So it's a tough outing but it's a game you need to play because you want to play against the best teams in the country this year, so all in all I'd say reasonably positive."

MATCHDAY RECAP: Norwich City 1 Atalanta 4 - Carrow Road return ends in a mess

Cantwell didn't think the City players were too downhearted despite the 4-1 loss and suggested some valuable lessons were learned ahead of the Premier League challenge.

"I don't think we should look too much into it," the youngster continued. "I think we've had a good performance, especially first half, and probably trying to chase the game a little bit, trying to get something back.

"But the scoreline didn't really reflect the game early on and I think that, you play against a team like that and a mistake leads to a goal.

"But we have got to get used to that because I feel that is going to be something that happens in the Premier League, they don't need many chances to put the ball in the back of the net. So it's a lesson learned."

Pre-season concludes on Saturday with another game at Carrow Road, against French side Toulouse (4pm), before attentions turn to the opening night of the Premier League season at Liverpool the following Friday.

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