Norwich City’s Simeon Jackson hoping for some Premier League action
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Striker Simeon Jackson admits he has endured the toughest spell of his career after being limited to a bit part role in Norwich City's Premier League campaign.
The 25-year-old Canada international scored in the Canaries' 3-0 FA Cup third round win at Peterborough United last Saturday, but has not started a league game since the 5-2 home defeat by Liverpool on September 29.
Until his recall against Posh last Saturday, six appearances as substitute in all competitions in the intervening three months had brought him a mere 71 minutes of action. Jackson is hoping to keep his place against struggling Newcastle at Carrow Road tomorrow (3pm) – but whether he plays may depend on the fitness of skipper Grant Holt, who trained yesterday but has missed four of the last five matches with a hamstring problem.
Jackson, whose goal at Portsmouth clinched promotion to the Premier League for City less than two years ago, has had fewer opportunities to shine at the top level.
He said: 'It's a rollercoaster. I won't lie to you.
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'When you are not playing it is tough, but it is part of the job, you have to deal with it and try to keep your levels up in training and your mind right for when you do get the chance.
'Being at this top level and competing has been tough. But I relish the opportunity and just keep going and working hard and try to get as many goals as I can.'
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With a career record for City of 21 goals in 81 games – 12 in 39 starts, and nine in 42 appearances as a substitute – Jackson believes he has been a little unlucky not to play more often.
'Yes, I believe so,' he said. 'At the start of the season I started off with a goal at home (to Queens Park Rangers) and the manager was saying to me I was unfortunate not to keep it going at certain times, but that's part and parcel of it and for me it's just a case of when I do get in as a sub or if I do start, making sure I get the goals.'
Jackson is under no illusions he needs to make the most of every opportunity given the lengthening list of forward additions touted with a potential New Year Carrow Road arrival.
'Is it bad news for me? Yes, but we're going to look to strengthen the squad where we need players,' he said. 'With the injuries as well it's going to be difficult for us and for the manager to be in a position where two of your strikers are injured, so you expect that. It's part of the game and you have to deal with it.
'With me, I just try to focus on training and when I'm playing, getting as many goals as I can. When you do that, everything looks after itself. It is just trying to make sure we do well and I do well, and hopefully get a goal. You don't really look past that. A week is a long time in football.'
Jackson has had to wait while Holt and Steve Morison, currently sidelined by a thigh injury, have been preferred for the role of lone striker.
'The manager knows what he has in his squad and for me it's just about doing what I do best and I hope it's enough for me when I go out there on a Saturday,' he said.
'It is difficult, but Holty and Morro bring something different to the team.
'When you look at what we need in terms of set-pieces, it's definitely important and it's worked well for us.
'When you are sitting there watching, you understand that. It is all about the team getting results and if that's what is working, then fair enough, I have to take a back seat.
'The manager has been very good with me and a few of the other lads as well and it's good to have that feedback. You don't always get that with managers but with the gaffer here, he's very good.'