Norwich City goal hero Jackson still in shock
Simeon Jackson is living the dream – and looking forward to enjoying the reality.
The City striker's amazing end to the season – nine goals in his last seven appearances, including the promotion clincher at Portsmouth last Monday – earned him the npower Championship Player of the Month award for April.
His turnaround in form, which began with a hat-trick after coming on as a sub against Scunthorpe at the beginning of last month, could hardly have been predicted given that he'd gone five months without a goal.
'I would have laughed to be honest,' said Jackson. 'I wouldn't have believed it. When you are not playing and when you are not scoring you are definitely hungry for goals and that first game was when I was really looking for it and it just continued on from then really.'
Those goals were vital securing promotion, but after a few days of celebrating, the Canadian international admitted he'd had little time to think of the new season, and the prospect of facing some of Europe's greatest defenders.
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'It is still a shock, nothing is really sinking in yet so it has not even come into my thoughts yet, but now you are saying it you are going to think about those kinds of things,' he said. 'It is an exciting time, it is what you have worked hard for and where you want to be playing. It is definitely going to be an amazing feeling. I dreamed about it, it was something that was always in the back of my mind, but to do it is a totally different thing, just the whole experience and playing at the highest level possible and showing what you can do. It is where everyone wants to be.'
Sooner or later the full extent of City's achievement will settle in – then it's business as usual.
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'There is no point in just going out there,' said Jackson. 'You have to pick up results and try and stay in the league and we will definitely be focusing on that. Right now it is a settling in period and letting it sink in.'
The judging panel comprised Sky Sports Football League expert Peter Beagrie, Football League Head of Communications John Nagle, BBC Sport's Mark Clemmit and npower Head of Sponsorship Emma Collins.