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Canaries starlet aims to nail down international left-back role

PUBLISHED: 14:39 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:02 10 September 2018

Norwich City left-back Jamal Lewis, right, in Northern Ireland action against Bosnia Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Norwich City left-back Jamal Lewis, right, in Northern Ireland action against Bosnia Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

PA Wire

Jamal Lewis is determined to establish himself at left-back for Northern Ireland after earning his second international cap.

The Norwich City starlet played all of a 2-1 defeat to Bosnia & Herzegovina in Belfast on Saturday, as Michael O’Neill’s squad began their Uefa Nations League campaign.

Lewis, 20, won his first cap in a 2-1 friendly win over South Korea at Windsor Park in March but was rested for friendlies against Panama and Costa Rica in May after a busy breakthrough season, which he had missed the first half of with a knee injury.

Since then established left-back Chris Brunt has decided to retire from international football at the age of 33, with the West Brom stalwart’s decision leaving a vacancy.

Luton-born Lewis, who qualifies for Northern Ireland through his mother, is looking to make the most of that opportunity.

“It would have been brilliant to learn from Chris Brunt a little bit and pick his mind about a few things,” the Canaries full-back said.

“Obviously he’s a brilliant player and very experienced. Now I just want to make this left-back spot my own and help the team as much as possible, kick on and get some wins.”

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The former Luton Town trainee made 24 appearances last season to emerge as City’s first choice left-back and has shaken off pre-season trouble to start four of six Championship games so far.

A small tear in one of his quadriceps (thigh muscle) and illness both ruled Lewis out of pre-season action but his return to form and fitness continued against Bosnia – and could be tested again in a home friendly against Israel on Tuesday night.

“I think on Saturday I could show a little bit more of what I could do,” he continued, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph. “In the South Korea game I was a little bit nervous and the pitch wasn’t as good. This time it was a re-laid pitch so we could play a little bit of football.

“It was one of the most one-sided games I’ve ever been involved in and was very enjoyable. It is unfortunate that a couple of times we switched off at the back and they punished us but that‘s international football.

“It was a promising performance and we showed the fans we can create a lot of chances while playing some good football.

“Hopefully, we can continue to bring that to games and get wins.”

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