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Club News


5 July 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Oliver Norwood

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Oliver Norwood believes an extension to his summer on the international scene can only beneficial, as he returns for pre-season training.
Norwood reported back to Albion duty on Monday, following his commitments with Northern Ireland, where Michael O’Neill’s side gained a crucial World Cup Qualifying 1-0 victory in Azerbaijan.
He said, “It’s great for me because I had a different sort of summer to a lot of the players and haven’t had much of a break.
“I prefer it like that because you don’t need to do as much work yourself and you know that you’re in good shape.
“The game in June away at Azerbaijan was really tough, as we weren’t at our best. Even though we won the game, we are a tad disappointed with the way that we played.
“Saying that, we finished our season six weeks earlier, whereas the Azerbaijan players were still playing domestically, so it was a fantastic result.
“If we win the next two games, I believe we can guarantee a play-off spot, which will be exciting. But there’s plenty of running and plenty of football before we next meet up, so there’s plenty to concentrate on before then.”
The 26-year-old explained that the sole priority heading into the new season is to stay up, but insists the team will rise to the challenge of competing at the highest evel.
“We just need to stay in the division. You look at the calibre of teams in there and we’re quite lucky that we’ve got five or six of the biggest teams in the world playing in the same division as us.
“It’s going to be tough, but we’re going into it with no fear or worries. It’s an exciting challenge and the lads have worked ever so hard to get there so we’re not going to let it slip away without a fight.
“You look at Bournemouth and Burnley who have stabilised and stayed in there. There’s no reason why a club like us, with the infrastructure we’ve got, can’t stay there. With the manager and group of players we’ve got, there’s no reason why we can’t do that.”

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