Audio: Anthony Pilkington believes Norwich City can build on end to 2012/13 Premier League campaign
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It may be 87 days until the question gets answered, but Anthony Pilkington hopes Norwich City's memorable end to their 2012-13 Premier League campaign will give them early momentum when the new term starts.
The Canaries showed plenty of attacking style as they rounded off the season with back-to-back victories, including their first win at Manchester City in the Premier League.
Talented young Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel is one new face already confirmed for 2013-14, and Pilkington knows more will follow.
'It's tough to say how this will impact it, but you always remember your last game and we went to the Etihad and, I wouldn't say we turned over Manchester City but we put in a great performance against one of the best teams in the league and arguably one of the best teams in Europe, and we won,' said the winger, who will have a summer off to recover from an ongoing knee injury – postponing again his Republic of Ireland debut in the process.
Before the Premier League's final day, City could have finished anywhere from 10th to 16th – with every place worth an additional £756,000. So in the end, City's 2013 resting place of 11th booked almost £4m in extra prize money added to Chris Hughton's transfer budget.
'Right from the start in the meeting on the day, we always wanted to win Sunday's game,' added Pilkington. 'It was massive for Norwich in terms of the finances. The higher we finish up the league the better it is for the club and the financial side of it, and for ourselves. So the gaffer told us it was important to go there and put in a good performance, and I think it was definitely up there with one of our best of the season.
'You can't not enjoy playing football at places like that against some of the best players in the world. We all played with smiles on our faces and said we were going to enjoy it at the start, and that's what we did.
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'To be honest we played with a lot more freedom and the pressure was off. It has just clicked towards the end of the season. The performances against West Brom and Manchester City just show what quality we've got in the squad and I'm sure the manager will be adding to the squad next season, and we'll be looking to improve again.
'We finished 12th last season and 11th this, so hopefully we can work hard in the summer and see what happens next season.'
While the late season acrimony for their hosts was hard to ignore, the Canaries' cheers were loudest of all as City sent their fans back to Norfolk with only a second Premier League away win of the campaign.
'Definitely the away fans deserved that,' Pilkington added. 'Wherever they've travelled this season they've been brilliant and it was good we sent them home with smiles on their faces.
'Like I say, there have been ups and downs. I think we've finished on a big up and that's all you can ask for. You always look to improve on your last game and your last season, and we've done that.'