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