Friday, November 16, 2012
Norwich City defender Sébastien Bassong acknowledges that Premier League leaders Manchester United have unrivalled quality in attack – but is undaunted by the prospect of dealing with their big name strikers at Carrow Road tomorrow.
The 26-year-old Cameroon international centre-half has played a key role in the Canaries’ improved defensive performance, with just one goal conceded in the past four league matches since a 4-1 defeat at Chelsea.
But that resolve will be sorely tested by United, for whom £24m summer signing Robin van Persie already has eight league goals.
Said Bassong: “We know that it is going to be tough against Manchester United. We all know they are really good, they are quality players, it’s going to be really hard to stop them, but I think we can do it.
“Our defensive performances have been spot-on, but that is because the whole team has been working really well together. We’ve been tight at the back, at the front, from Grant Holt to the ’keeper.
“So we just have to try to keep that going and maybe with a bit of luck, we can do something.”
Bassong, who joined City for a reported £4m fee from Tottenham in August, faced ex-Arsenal star Van Persie more than once in North London derbies.
“He is just a good player, finished as top scorer last year and is in good form now with Manchester United,” he said.
“He has great touch, great quality on the ball. Even if he doesn’t have time, he can score goals. That’s just called quality.
“He can smell the football, he knows where to go, just like Rooney, they know where to move on the pitch. They are high-level players.
“But whether it is him, Rooney, Welbeck, Chicarito, no matter who is going to play up front, they have quality.
“We don’t have to focus on them too much. We can just focus on ourselves and try to play the best game we can.”
Bassong said he had no regrets about his move to Norwich in spite of some heavy defeats in the opening weeks of the season. The Chelsea game is the only one in which he has featured where City have conceded more than one goal.
“It could have taken me ages to settle down. That wasn’t the case and I am really happy,” he said. “It’s not just about me. It is just the way the manager is making this team play.
“Before I came here, I knew we were going to face some tough moments in the season and I think we still will.
“We are going to lose some games, have some bad games and some good games. The most important thing is that at the end of the season, Norwich will still be in the Premier League.”