Premier League first for Norwich City’s Pilkington

Norwich City wide player Anthony Pilkington insists helping secure the Canaries' Premier League status tops gatecrashing the Republic of Ireland's European Championship squad.

Pilkington admits he is flattered by interest from across the Irish Sea after Ireland's assistant boss Marco Tardelli revealed last week City's Republic contingent are firmly on Giovanni Trapattoni's radar.

The 23-year-old has endorsed team mate Wes Hoolahan's claims to be on the plane to Poland and the Ukraine next summer – but Pilkington's sole priority is prolonging Norwich's Premier League adventure.

'I think he (Tardelli) has been to a few games,' said Pilkington, speaking on Five Live.

'I played for the '21s when I was younger but I have not had any contact with them. I would have to think about it if anything does come in, but I'm not worrying about that or getting ahead of myself because it takes your eyes off what is more important and that is playing in the Premier League and making sure Norwich City stay in the Premier League.

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'It's good to be linked to the international set-ups and things like that, but ultimately give me a choice if I want to playing at the Euros come the end of the season or playing in the Premier League next season I know which one I would rather have.

'We have a great player here called Wes Hoolahan and I really don't know how he is not playing for the Irish national team. You look at the squad and see the quality in and around it and he should be playing every game for them.'

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Pilkington has scored four goals in 12 Premier League outings so far after making a seamless transition from League One high-flyers Huddersfield.

The former Stockport man admitted his close season transfer to the big time was a major step into the unknown.

'It was massively daunting, those first few days,' he said. 'Whenever you go to a new club you don't know anybody there or how they are going to take to you and things like that but everybody has been great to me at Norwich.

'Just like at Huddersfield. It has been a really good time for me and my family who are all settled down here in Norwich now and we are just enjoying it.

'You do the pre-season bits when you get to know all the lads and all the new lads.

'You come into the team and they are good trips to get to know everyone and gel as a team together and we have had a few golf days as well. Living in Norwich all the lads are really close down here and that togetherness comes out in the games and the team spirit is fantastic.'

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