Surman sets the bar high in Norwich City goal quest
Chris Lakey Andrew Surman has set himself a target of 15 goals this season - and doesn't fancy ending the campaign wiping the egg off his face. The summer recruit from Premier League Wolves admits it's ambitious - his career best is eight and his total 26 in just under 200 appearances.
Andrew Surman has set himself a target of 15 goals this season - and doesn't fancy ending the campaign wiping the egg off his face.
The summer recruit from Premier League Wolves admits it's ambitious - his career best is eight and his total 26 in just under 200 appearances.
But the 23-year-old believes there is scope in the City side to make a major contribution from midfield.
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“I have set myself some targets and if I can chip in with a few goals and maybe take the pressure off the strikers, and same for the other midfielders as well and around the rest of the team, if I can finish up with some goals it will obviously help the team,” he said.
“I'm going for 15 - I am setting my targets high. I think I have got goals in me and I think playing in this team we create so many chances if I can maybe be clinical enough in front of goal, who knows?
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“Hopefully I won't get to the end of the season and be on three or four - I'll be eating my words.”
Evidence of Surman's skills in front of goal were evident last Saturday, when he pulled City back to 2-2 in the 4-2 home defeat by Everton: having skinned defender Joseph Yobo he slipped a right-footed effort past keeper Tim Howard.
“I just shut my eyes and swung my right foot to be honest,” said Surman. “I don't really use it too much. I was just pleased to see it go in and get on the scoresheet.”
Surman is one of seven summer signings - two of whom look set to complete a midfield line behind Wes Hoolahan tonight - and says the new boys have fitted in well.
“I'm looking forward to it,” he said. “It's been quite a long pre-season, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
“The team spirit is good and watching the games, especially against Newcastle and Everton, I think you can see that the new players have slotted in quite well into the system the manager wants to play and I think it has been promising to be honest. Everyone is raring to go.”
Getting three new faces to gel immediately in midfield is quite a trick to pull off, but Surman says the evidence suggests it will work.
“Obviously in some of the games we have struggled maybe to break teams down, but that's pre-season,” he said. “You're playing against teams that are going to sit behind the ball a lot.
“But against Newcastle and Everton, top sides in the Premiership, I think we have proven that we can compete against them.
“All three of us have played in those positions all our careers so it's nothing new to us. I think we have gelled pretty well and have a good understanding between us.
“We have some good balance -obviously me being left-footed and Crofty being right-footed and Foxy just anchoring the midfield and Wes - if you can get him free and get him on the ball you know he is going to create for you. I think the balance is good.”
Hoolahan is the only remnant of last year's midfield to have regularly featured in the summer - and Surman has already learned that the Irishman is no one-trick pony.
“I don't think he even knows what he's going to do next to be honest - he is a quality player,” Surman said. “He is so unpredictable you don't know what he's going to do and if he's on top of his game he can hurt anyone, create chances for fun. In the games we have played this pre-season I think it's promising we have created so many chances.”
It's all for real tonight when Watford come to town for the first game of the English season - Sky TV will be at the ground from mid-day and come 7.45pm, all eyes will be on the Carrow Road pitch.
“I think it is something that is a challenge the lads are looking forward to,” he said. “Playing on telly obviously brings a different proposition - you have the whole nation watching.
“I'm just glad the season is starting, I'm just happy it has been brought a day forward because the lads are raring to go. We want to hit the ground running.
“I think we have instilled a winning mentality in this club and I think that comes from the top, from the manager. Every game we go out we believe we can win and that's not going to change in this match. I think everyone is really looking forward to it.”