Norwich City striker Jackson’s debt to Paul Lambert
Norwich striker Simeon Jackson is out to impress Chris Hughton from the off ahead of the new season to stake his Premier League claim.
The 25-year-old was the last senior member of City's squad to down tools this summer after being involved in World Cup qualifiers for Canada earlier this month. Jackson revealed he is yet to speak to the Canaries' new manager, but the frontman knows he has to hit the ground running when they meet up for the first time on July 9.
'No, I haven't had a chance to speak to him. As soon as we get back for pre-season I'm sure the manager will have a meeting planned with all the boys,' he said. 'I'm looking forward to seeing his plans and fitting in. For me personally and all the players it is the same – you want to come into pre-season showing you are fit and hungry and ready. You know you are going out there to do your best for the first game of the season. The manager will bring new ideas, but the mindset is still the same.
'Physically I felt good after the season in England and then going into the World Cup camp and I felt good after the camp. The body is always fine. It is just about the mental aspect, which is about getting away from it for a bit and switching off and just recharging the batteries to make sure you go fresh again next season.'
Jackson, speaking to Canada's Red Nation magazine, watched City's managerial reshuffle from the other side of the world. The striker was not surprised to see Paul Lambert leave Carrow Road, but admits he owes his former boss a massive debt for giving him a chance on the Premier League stage.
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'I half expected it,' he said. 'He had been immense at the club since he had arrived. Once you are doing that well, people are always going to be knocking on your door. It had been like that for a while. His decision to leave, I don't think anyone at the club would question that, we all respect him and his decision and wish him all the best.
'He did loads of things for me. I came from League Two straight into the Championship and the standards that he had and that he set for the players in training every day and in matches was of a high level. You have to get used to it very quickly or you are out of the door.
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'He definitely pushed me and I think I have developed a lot under him. Now I just need to take that forward. For me, it's about starting again with a fresh season and a fresh manager. It is about showing him what I can do and playing as much as I can for the club and doing well.'
Jackson signed off his first-ever Premier League season with a strike in the 2-0 final day win over Lambert's Aston Villa.
The Canadian's goals also helped sweep City into the top flight 12 months previous, and Jackson believes he is now ready to play an even bigger role in the Canaries' bid to stay there.
'The Premier League is a different beast,' he said. 'It is a high, demanding level. Maybe I wasn't ready for that when Norwich came in for me originally. I had to earn my stripes and learn the game a bit more in the Championship but now I feel I am ready and capable of proving myself at this level.
'I'm at the stage where I have to go again. The goal I set out with was to get to this level from an early age. Now you have to go again and the hard work starts again. It's like everything in life. Once you have achieved goals, you set new goals.
'For me, at the age of 25 you are no longer a young, promising talent - you are starting to get into your golden age and you have the experience. There is definitely much more to come from me.'