Simeon Jackson’s fitting end to Norwich City’s 2011
The striker that produced some of last year’s iconic moments was glad to deliver one more Norwich City late show, as Simeon Jackson wrapped up 2011 in fitting style.
Behind to a seventh-minute Orlando Sa strike, the Canaries’ improved performance after the break looked like it would fall short against a composed Fulham side.
But in many ways, 2011 was Jackson’s year – his last gasp winner over Derby last season set up the diving header at Portsmouth that took City back to the Premier League.
So what better way than for the 24-year-old Canadian substitute to sign off the year than turn his ninth top-flight appearance into his second goal of the campaign, a flying header to finish Elliott Bennett’s superb centre in the fourth minute of added time.
It was the final Premier League goal of 2011 – and earned City what could easily prove to be a priceless Premier League point.
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The Canaries’ new year starts quickly, with Monday afternoon’s trip to last season’s Championship title winners Queens Park Rangers (3pm) a big game for both Premier League new boys.
And despite 2011’s thrilling conclusion, Jackson was keeping his focus – as well as hoping for a second top-flight start this afternoon; his first coincidentally coming against Neil Warnock’s side at Carrow Road in November.
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“I hope I’ve given the gaffer a little problem – we’ll see how we go on Monday,” said Jackson. “To come on and get a goal and help us get the point is really rewarding.
“I’m just like every footballer in the country – when you’re not playing you do want to get out there and play, but you have to keep working hard and wait for your chance.
“We have a great squad with great players and we’ve been doing well so you just have to keep going.
“Like the gaffer has said, it’s a collective effort and all of us know that. The ones who aren’t playing wait for their chance and the ones who are playing are doing really well.
“It takes the whole of the squad to do things in this league and we all know that. We just keep working hard and trying to help the team to where we want to be.”
The Canaries’ late goals under manager Paul Lambert have been the stuff of legend, and Jackson is pleased to see signs of the pattern continuing against the top teams in the country.
“We’ve carried it on and that’s credit to us and the fans, and at home we’re one of those sides that just keeps going and it’s paid off really well for us,” he said.
“Especially at home, you know we are going to create chances, so you just have to get yourself on the end of it and make sure you are ready.
“It’s a great end to the year, but it’s about the new year now and focusing on that, keep on going and picking up points anywhere we go.
“We’ve had a great start and the other two (newly promoted sides) have had a great start as well, and it just sums up the quality coming out of the Championship.
“But it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish.”
City boss Lambert may have this term made limited use of Jackson – a 13-goal striker in the Championship last season – but he cannot fault his number 10’s commitment to the cause, as well as his provider against Fulham who has also found recent chances limited.
“I think Simeon Jackson has been great for us, he really has,” said Lambert.
“I think he was pivotal to what happened last season.
“He’s a terrific professional, the lad, a really, really top pro. He never lets his head go down and I’m delighted for him.
“And Bennett, I thought the cross was excellent for somebody who came out of League One and has bypassed the Championship and gone right into Premier League football.”
Jackson has two goals in two games after bagging his first Premier League strike at Wolves just before Christmas – completing his incredible record of scoring in the top five tiers of English football in successive seasons.