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Sebastien Bassong believes team spirit can give Norwich City the edge at Liverpool

06:30 17 September 2015

Sebastien Bassong of Norwich heads for goal during the 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory over at Carrow Road, Norwich. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Sebastien Bassong of Norwich heads for goal during the 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory over at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Commanding centre-back Sebastien Bassong believes Norwich City must be fearless in their approach for Sunday’s match at Liverpool.

The experienced defender has continued his good performances under Alex Neil’s guidance following promotion, keeping Bournemouth’s dangerman Callum Wilson under control during City’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth last weekend.

Now the 29-year-old hopes to continue that form against the talent Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has at his disposal, including Christian Benteke and Philippe Coutinho.

“It’s a nice feeling to go there and play in this type of game. I think we have to give it a go,” Bassong said. “I think we have to go there with no fear and hopefully get a good result.

“Liverpool is a great club, they have changed, they’ve got some additions to their team this year, some good players but football depends on a lot of factors.

“The new team has got to gel, you don’t know how long that’s going to take and if they can gel straight away but we know they are going to be a good team and at some point they will look to compete for European places.”

The Reds have seen a positive start to the Premier League season come off the rails, after a shock 3-0 home loss to West Ham and a 3-1 defeat at bitter rivals Manchester United.

With tonight’s Europa League match at Bordeaux offering them a chance to get back on track, the Canaries cannot be sure of the team they will face on Sunday afternoon.

What Bassong and his-team mates do know is that Rodgers has a team capable of producing top quality.

Although captain Steven Gerrard brought his long association with the club to an end in the summer and England international Raheem Sterling was sold to Manchester City for a reported £49million, fresh faces have been added.

Benteke was signed from Aston Villa for around £32m, Brazilian attacker Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim for £29m and full-back Nathaniel Clyne for £12.5m from Southampton, as well as James Milner and Danny Ings joining on free transfers. Those are fees that Neil can only dream of spending at Carrow Road but Bassong feels the Canaries do have an advantage over their much-changed opponents.

“We’re a team, the team hasn’t really changed from last year and the club has done well in the transfer window, they’ve brought the right players into the team to help us out,” the former Tottenham and Newcastle defender continued.

“We haven’t got to gel but we still have a lot of work to do. The Premier League is different to the Championship, so it requires something different. Working, working, working, that is the motto, we’ve got to give 100 per cent or even more.”

The Cameroon international is also pleased to go into the game with the boost of victory over Bournemouth but did not feel beating another of the top-flight’s new boys made the result any more satisfying.

“Every time we play, it is 11 v 11, regardless of who we play against,” he added. “I know Bournemouth won promotion the same as us but we just wanted to win, whether it was against Bournemouth or against anyone else and I think it was the right result.

“We are going to try and stay up, try to play the best football we can week in and week out and see where it can take us.”

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31 comments

  • For Liverpool I would be tempted to start with the same 11 as last week albeit we need to change out Wisdom. I think Redmond should start as I feel if we bring him on he may feel he has to prove a point and good revert to headless chicken of last season. We do need a solid start and also to try and silence the crowd. The way Liverpool have been of late the pressure should be on them, I just hope they do not find a Suarez replacement and make us the whipping boys, but under AN it shouldn't happen. We got that one out the system at Southampton. My other concern is the the off-switch we seem to operate each game and Ruddy has to pick the ball out the back of the net. Three points could be doable but I would settle for one now.

    Report this comment

    Jakarta Canary

    Friday, September 18, 2015

  • Come on Barking, wake up! No loan player can play against their parent club! It's the rules and always has been!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Presumably they were all cash buys, Fagen. Assuming a monthly rental income of £1000 (say £750 because the houses are probably in Liverpool andor Swansea), that's £918K gross income, say £915K net after the houses have each had an annual luck of paint and a boiler service. And then the small matter of his LFC income on top. You would have thought he could manage a smile on the touch line now and again. On topic, I'd leave Bambi out for another match and give Wisdom another go. Thought he played well against Bomo and he'll want to show his "parent club" what they're missing.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Perceptive observations, appaulcox. Whittaker combines really well with Wes, Dorrans, Howson in these little passing triangles near the box, also good at getting the ball across early. I allow him the occasional Bambi on Ice defending moment...

    Report this comment

    Pierre

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Now is not the time to play Liverpool away,after last weekends result against united it won't be the same team that turns out this weekend.

    Report this comment

    trev57

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • I know Wes has been our best player this season but he is not getting any younger so I would rest him....that would surprise Liverpool as they will be expecting him. I would play two holding players as suggested by wivenhoebudgie and danpez with Howson (he can drop in when it gets a little tough) behind Jerome with Brady and Olsen on one side and Whitaker and Jarvis on the other.....yes that would mean Redmond on the bench but feel that may do him good as he has been a little quite recently

    Report this comment

    appaulcox

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • In my opinion Whittaker is the best attacking full back (I do not include Brady as he is a winger) at the club and believe he will play at Liverpool. I know he has made mistakes but believe a lot of these are due to him being so far up the park and therefore the holding midfielders should cover in this instance.

    Report this comment

    appaulcox

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Yes danpez , leaning toward the second holding midfielder. Dorrans alongside Tettey. Ollsen back in with Brady further up .

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Personally wouldnt count on Whittaker .Im sure AN has other ideas and look weve got plenty of quality in this squad ...its early doors even with their huge spending budget .

    Report this comment

    johnty

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Is Whittaker available this weekend? Was it only a one match ban?

    Report this comment

    DorsetCanary

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • no fwd slash apparently??

    Report this comment

    Cyprus Canary

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Defence is key in this one - the longer we keep them off the score sheet the greater the pressure they face. Then with BradyJarvis and WhittakerRedmond we can break fast on both flanks. here's hoping.

    Report this comment

    Cyprus Canary

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • MY - we lost the Southampton game didn't we? I thought we were going to choke at Bournemouth after that game and while Liverpool haven't had the strongest start themselves i expect them to beat us, however we have turned over some of the top teams a few times in the last couple of years so I'm quietly confident at the same time. Other than a strong CB I think we are better balanced now across the pitch. I expect AN will play with two holding midfielders against Liverpool to assist with the added threat of moments of magic by a couple of their star players. Should be a good game.

    Report this comment

    danpez

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • JDD, I have watched Benteke a couple of times this year and he has been missing for large parts of the games. However, he is capable of scoring something brilliant out of nothing so we cant afford to switch off as he can punish any team.

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Bassong has played very well for us this season. Ok, he does make a few blunders but players are human and many others do the same or worse. As a unit, however, our central defence does remain our achilles heel. Given that, it is up to everyone to lend them support when they are under the cosh. Something that simply did not happen at Southampton, when midfield and wide players did not funnel back and offer cover. AN was acutely aware of these failings and he has made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that he expects every player to work hard for the team and no doubt that includes tracking back as required. Liverpool are resting several key players tonight so I expect them to put out their strongest team on Sunday. But there is no reason why we can't go there and get a point. I like others would be satisfied if the team put in a good, committed, performance, come win, lose or draw. Yes, it isn't one of the games we would expect AN to target as a three pointer, so anything gained would be a bonus. Every point we can get will be important, maybe even vital, in the final analysis.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • " we must go there with no fear" ? Really? Benteke has had Bassong on toast every time Villa played us. Bassong must be bricking it!

    Report this comment

    JDDons

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • TK - agreed that it is not a must win. There can never have been a better time to win at Anfield though (well except for 1994). 'Pool are a wretched side and may well be down there in the bottom six this season. I can imagine that Brendan Rogers will be concentrating more on his buy to let empire (102 houses and counting) very soon.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Well as we're all glad he's back and doing the biz, long may he stay injury free. As others have said we'd be in doo doo without him. Shows the quality of Sir Alex to get him back in the fold.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Before the Southampton game I thought ....Southampton are very low on confidence at the moment, and we are on a real high, so let's get at them and see if they wobble.. and I feel the same about this Liverpool side. Obviously low in confidence, they are still not sure on there best startling line up, so I feel we have a chance.

    Report this comment

    MellowYellow

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • The point is . . . . the person concerned has never waived from his prejudiced position - even now, when the Roc"K" is on "F"orm. Total inability to recognise his massive error. Shame really. Some would say there's something more sinister lying beneath. Not me. Seb is pure class. Where would we be without him? Where would Russ be without Big Bass? I do actually love Seb, Steely. 2015. It's the norm ! Respect the Rainbow !

    Report this comment

    ole tommy buster custard

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Without doubt Bassong is an essential part of our defence right now so keeping him in a positive frame of mind is key. A strange comment, James Milner and Danny Ings joining on free transfers. Those are fees that Neil can only dream of spending, I thought we too had acquired a couple of free agents! Seriously though, I hope the team spirit remains firm even if we go a goal down at Anfield because that was not the case during the last away game. As long as the team gives 100% then that is all us fans can asked, this is not one of the games we have to win, unlike last week as Liverpool are unlikely to be fighting relegation.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • A good assessment El D, when he is confident and switched on he can be very good. I think he is a laid back chap that many read as complacent, I read it as happy and confident and long may it continue as we dont have too many other options for his position.

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • I am sure Tommy will tell us who said it at some point. Might have been me in a black mood after yet another home defeat. Tommy has endless access to cached stuff apparently. I never boxed my old darling - that was my Dad.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Bassong had a dreadful second half to the relegation season and there were respect issues too. I can understand why anyone would have made Tommy s comment at that time. Seb did not endear himself at that time but total credit to Sir Alex for turning things round as we can read above. A committed Bassong is a very good player indeed.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Sebastien loves you Tommy (despite your words).

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Swiss Canary, the best teams generally sit at the top of the table - Man City in the Prem, Brighton in the Championship. Hughton is doing a good job and his record is better than most. Got Newcastle promoted as champions and Norwich finishing 10th in his first season.

    Report this comment

    Johny

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • It seems that he is back on form and it appears that Alex and team have done a lot to make that happen. Our weakness continues at set pieces though, sometimes it is individual errors but for others it seems there is a lack of a leadership. If we can get that sorted then we would be a serious threat. On another note, I loved Chris Hughton's comments about Brighton being undefeated and 4 points clear at the top of the Championship, "We've made a tremendous start and I could not have envisaged it." Oh, so it must be an accident, never mind.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • baguio . . . . not my words mate. Just copying a view from a friend. I didn't agree either . . . . but hey-ho, y'know how these people will never find cause for a U-turn on their opinions !

    Report this comment

    ole tommy buster custard

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Can't agree with you you there Tommy. What he was is irrelevant. It's what he is now that counts. Where would our defence be without him at the moment I wonder. RM would be found out against Benteke for sure! INWT

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • Well said Seb, give it your all. Stay switched on and keep the rest of the defense on their toes, we may come away with something.

    Report this comment

    MBA Marine

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

  • "Bassong should never be allowed to pull on a yellow shirt again. He was worse than useless , he was a liability and should never, ever be given a second chance at Norwich City"

    Report this comment

    ole tommy buster custard

    Thursday, September 17, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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