In post-game comments following his two-goal performance against Millwall on Friday night, Norwich forward Josh Sargent expressed a growing confidence at his strong start to the season, and a hunger to continue contributing the the scoresheet.
While Friday’s performance against Millwall, where he scored a pair of goals in the space of 25 minutes in the second half, might have been Sargent’s top performance in the new season, it is only the latest in a string of strong showings as of late.
In addition to burying the winning penalty in their recent Carabao Cup shootout, the American netted the opening goal in their midweek win over Huddersfield, and won the free kick that led to their only goal in a narrow loss to Hull last weekend.
Considering the difficulty of last season’s relegation campaign, the Missouri-born forward is revelling in the moment.
“I’m very happy with the week, two great results for us and two great games with goals from me, so I’m feeling pretty good right now,” he stated in his post-game comments, continuing, “Any striker would tell you it feels good when you’re scoring goals, so I’m full of confidence right now.”
It is no coincidence that his recent goalscoring run has come with a return to his preferred positioning as center forward, after he spent much of last season, and the early parts of the new one exiled to the the outside wing.
“It feels good to be playing striker again,” be beamed. “I’ve definitely taken my opportunity when I’ve been given it and hopefully I can keep scoring goals.”
On Friday, Norwich gave Millwall no chance to even find their footing, as their constant pressure saw them hold 63% of possession, with the tenacious push by Sargent against defenders on the ball a major factor in keeping their opponents off-balance.
“That’s something I have inside of me,” he said regarding his tendency to pressure the opposition. “I want to get the ball, I’m hungry for the ball, so I like pressing.”
Canaries head coach Dean Smith also hailed the quality of his “new” center forward after the game, particularly crediting the linking play between the players manning the right side and Sargent, as the tip of the spear.
“[I’m] really pleased for him to get a brace,” he said. “It was a really good performance from all the lads to be fair. As well as Josh scoring the two goals, I’m really pleased that we kept the clean sheet.”
“They made it difficult for us,” he admitted in regards to Millwall’s defensive performance in the first half, although explained one halftime adjustment that paid dividends. “We spoke about Danel [Sinani] and [Kieran] Dowell on the right-hand side to come inside and link up more with Sargent, and we ended up getting a goal that way.”
“I’ve said before Sarge is a good player,” he complimented, re-emphasizing Sargent’s pressing tendency. “He works extremely hard and he went and earned that chance for himself. He put them under pressure right from kick-off in the first half, charging them down.”
The Canaries’ victory, their second in a row, means that Norwich are finally finding their form after starting the season with a three-game winless run.
They will already be back on the field on Tuesday night for a Carabao Cup game against Bournemouth, then visit Sunderland in league play on Saturday.