Norwood: It's Important to Hit the Ground Running
Thursday, 1st Aug 2019 09:17
James Norwood has revealed he failed to collect the traditional match-ball souvenir after grabbing a hat-trick in Town’s spectacular 5-0 pre-season friendly win at Colchester.
Instead, he left the JobServe Community Stadium empty-handed and smiled: “I don’t know what happened to the ball. It had been that long since I’d scored a hat-trick that I completely forgot to ask for it!
“I can only remember scoring one in my time at Tranmere and that’s the absolute minimum I’m hoping to get for Ipswich.”
But even if he fails to find the net on the opening day of the League One campaign at Burton on Saturday Norwood won’t lose any sleep, although he admitted: “I think it’s important to hit the ground running. I scored two goals on the opening day of the season last year and never looked back.
“I think I scored in each of the first six games so if I can start scoring early on, the better it will be for me and of course Ipswich.”
Norwood also appears to be confident of taking the step-up from League Two in his stride. “I played a few games in League One when I was at Exeter and I don’t imagine it’s too different now,” he added.
“It’s obviously going to be a better quality than League Two – a little bit quicker, better athletes – and everything will be taken up 10 per cent.
“I’m working hard in this pre-season to make sure I’m going to be just above that. But I’ll soon find out what the difference is like.”
His reputation as a goalscorer who gives his all precedes him and Norwood continued: “I like to close defenders down, get in behind, score goals and be a nuisance. I like to stay in the game, whether that means holding the ball up, coming short or spinning in behind.
“I just try to get on the ball as much as possible and score as many goals as I can. I’ve played in countless formations – on my own up front, with a partner etc – and I’ve scored goals and had plenty of assists in all of them. Wherever the gaffer wants me to play, I’m willing to play.
“Of course, I know I can’t do it all on my own. If you look at the five goals we scored at Colchester there were balls coming in from strikers, wingers, full-backs, central midfielders and even centre-halves.
“There’s so much quality within the squad and it has really surprised me how much depth and quality there is here.”
But Norwood, who scored 32 goals last season for previous club Tranmere, was quick to add: “I’ve got absolutely no doubt that the boys can put things on a plate for me and I’d love to think I can do it again for Ipswich – but I don’t want to jinx myself!”
The move to Portman Road has also coincided with Norwood deciding to have a hair transplant, something he was happy to speak openly about. “I was ageing me prematurely and I want to look back at pictures of me as a player, especially at a club like this, and be happy with the state of my hair,” he explained.
“I looked at pictures from the play-off final at Wembley in May and saw how it was receding. We’re proud people us men and I want to look my best. I’m hoping it grows back and we’ll see how it is come Christmas.”
Can he recommend it to those similarly afflicted? “Not at the minute because I don’t know if it’s coming back through but, hopefully, in about six months or so I could have a ponytail! Might it affect my heading? No, when it grows back it might!”
Norwood is also well known for his regular input on social media and he added: “I enjoy myself on there. Actually, I got my windscreen cracked yesterday so if anyone knows anyone who can fix it can they please let me know?”
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