Jamal fancies an early shot at Premier League giants

Jamal Lewis applauds Northern Ireland's travelling fans after their win in Estonia Picture: PA

Jamal Lewis applauds Northern Ireland's travelling fans after their win in Estonia Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Jamal Lewis is hoping Norwich City will be handed one of the 'big boys' when the Premier League fixtures are released in three days' time as he prepares to test himself among the elite.

Jamal Lewis in action for Northern Ireland in Estonia Picture: PA

Jamal Lewis in action for Northern Ireland in Estonia Picture: PA - Credit: PA

In just 18 months Lewis, 21, has gone from promising youth player to first team regular, Championship title winner, full international and, soon, top flight footballer.

"You would like a big team on the first day, to get a bit of publicity and a good little performance," said Lewis. "I would like that, it would be a really nice fixture but any fixture is going to be a big one because there are a lot of people in the team who will be playing in the Premier League for the first time."

That clearly includes the City left-back, who is relishing the chance to step up to the big time.

"With the winger position, I think there's quite a big gulf between the Championship and the Premier League, definitely a jump in quality," Lewis said. "I pride myself on trying to be a good defender first so I will truly be tested and we'll see if I actually am."


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Lewis is a capable attacking force, something he hopes to continue even if City can expect to see far less of the ball than they enjoyed in the Championship.

"The manager will want us to still play our style of football," he said. "He might make some adjustments, he might not. I don't know. Hopefully I'll still play that kind of attacking football in some games. There'll be some teams where we have to balance it off a bit as some teams will dominate possession more than us.

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"It's all about adapting. I'm looking forward to playing different teams, different styles and coming up with different solutions to problems."

Lewis played in Northern Ireland's win over Estonia on Saturday and is expected to face Belarus on Tuesday, and knows his off-season is already over, with City having given him an extensive training plan for the summer.

"It's just part of the game now," he said. "Maybe way back you could almost take the break and literally come back a little bit fit and work yourself back in pre-season. But now, I think especially in our position, going into something that we haven't done before with the Premier League, we have to come back prepared."

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