Monday, November 26, 2012
Sébastien Bassong believes Norwich City deserved their Premier League point at Goodison Park, as he chose the perfect time to open his Canaries account.
The summer defensive recruit showed all the drive and determination you could wish to see in heading Javier Garrido’s swirling last minute free-kick beyond Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, and extending City’s unbeaten run to seven games in the process.
They certainly did it the hard way, Steven Naismith’s opener preceding a string of decent chances for David Moyes’ hosts. But Norwich hung in, grew in confidence and were eventually rewarded with a 15th Premier League point of the campaign.
“It felt tremendous,” smiled Bassong, whose last goal came for Tottenham at Birmingham in the top flight almost exactly two years ago. “It was a great relief and a great feeling, and we keep the unbeaten run unbeaten run going, so it’s really good for us. They had a few chances and we had some too. It was a fair game and I think the point was deserved today.
“It could have been better in the first half but when we came back on the pitch after half-time we showed great character and more quality on the ball.”
While Michael Turner – the man who has become Bassong’s central defensive partner in crime over recent weeks – missed out through injury, the Cameroon international was glad to lead Ryan Bennett through his first Premier League start since the opening day at Fulham.
There was also the added boost of the man to his left delivering his second point-scoring assist in two matches.
“Javier has got a great left foot, so he can deliver some great deliveries,” said Bassong. “That’s what he is there for and he’s doing really well, so credit to him.
“Ryan is a good player and we just had to communicate a bit more than usual because we have never played together. But I knew he was going to do well and I thought today he did a great game. He was really concentrated.”
Certainly City’s settled side and formation – as well as their recent good form – have brought about a more secure look in recent weeks. Hughton’s men clearly know their responsibilities.
“It is making a difference because we all know what we have got to do,” added Bassong. “We all know our work and that’s a good thing. No matter who is playing in the position we all work in the same direction.”
Ruddy has joined Turner on the sidelines after departing Saturday’s game with a thigh injury – not the best news given the rare challenge of a midweek Premier League fixture as City travel to Southampton on Wednesday.
Bassong was another to pick up a knock during a rigorous 90 minutes, but he expects those that can in Chris Hughton’s squad to shake off the bruises before going again at St Mary’s.
“I just had some tightness in my hip flexor but it’s fine,” admitted Bassong. “It was really physical. When you come here you know it’s going to be direct and the physical battle is going to be there and after the game you can have knocks.
“But we can bounce back and we are solid enough. We will shake them off.”
City’s good form is attracting few rave reviews – Bassong hopes that continues: “I hope they underestimate us. That’s a good position for us. We are out of the limelight and can work easily, in peace.
“We are just focused on ourselves. Yes we have beaten some top four teams, but the most important thing is to keep our heads right and not to think like we are big players or a big team. We have to stay humble and keep working, because that is the only way we can get results.
“If we start thinking we are something else then I don’t think it will work.”