Wembley win caps dream season for Norwich City’s Sebastien Bassong

Sebastien Bassong celebrates with the play-off trophy. Picture: Simon Finlay

Sebastien Bassong celebrates with the play-off trophy. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Sebastien Bassong admits his part in Norwich City's Wembley heroics helped crown a remarkable personal renaissance at Carrow Road.

The powerful defender's career with the Canaries looked over until Alex Neil took charge of the yellows in January. Frozen out under former boss Neil Adams – and sent out on loan to Championship rivals Watford – it appeared the Cameroon international's days in Norfolk were numbered.

Yet some rock-solid displays for the Hornets helped them set about achieving their long-awaited Premier League return. And it got even better when the Canaries sealed a promotion double for the centre-back.

Bassong said: 'At the end of the day it has ended up overall as a dream season. I played for Watford, they got promoted, I play for Norwich and we got promoted as well. I'll be getting two medals as I'll go and get my one from Watford. I'll go and get it as it's waiting for me.

'(Laughing) It's not all about me (helping teams get promotion). You wouldn't have said that at the beginning of the season. Next season it would be nice to have a stable one.'

Eleven appearances at Watford soon became 20 under Neil – the man who Bassong showered with plaudits after the post-match celebrations had died down.

'Some said Norwich took a gamble on him but they knew what they were doing,' said the 28-year-old who has formed a formidable partnership alongside Russell Martin at the heart of Norwich's backline of late.

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'He came here with such confidence and great football knowledge. It was a transition period when I first came back. He gave me time to settle down and fix a couple of things.

'I was a bit lost as things had changed. With the way things had gone for me I thought it could have gone either way. I could have come back and it could have got really bad or it could have gone the other way. Lucky for me, it went the other way.

'His (Neil's) first words to me, when he pulled me in were: 'I don't know what happened before and I don't want to know. I need you in my team, I need my best players, and I want to work with you and that's the end of the story. If you're up for it we'll work together'.

'I shook his hand and (from then) he's been brilliant.'