Aarons backs City striker to recover after 'frustrating' Brighton draw

Pierre Lees-Melou of Norwich, Max Aarons of Norwich and Josh Sargent of Norwich at the end of the Pr

Pierre Lees-Melou and Max Aarons console Josh Sargent after Norwich City's goalless draw with Brighton at Carrow Road - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Max Aarons is backing Josh Sargent to bounce back from his struggles in front of goal during Norwich City’s action-packed goalless draw with Brighton. 

The USA international snatched at a golden chance to open the scoring and score his first Premier League goal when he was left with an open goal after a mistake from Seagulls' keeper Robert Sanchez. 

The 21-year-old summer signing undercooked his strike and also made a mess of a good opening early in the second half, when Teemu Pukki put him through on goal with just Sanchez to beat. 

“As a team-mate, you’ve got no other choice but to give support, and we knew that we would get more chances. It wasn’t like it was the 91st minute or something like that,” Aarons said of the support given to Sargent at half-time. 

“We always knew we were going to get chances in the second half, it was frustrating but you have to let it go. 

“It sounds a cliché but if you dwell on it too much it can become an issue and it can start causing problems for you, where you start giving them chances. 

“We just got on with it. We knew what Josh was giving us in the game, so you can’t really say anything – and I’m sure he’ll score some goals going forward.” 

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Having conceded 16 goals when losing the first six games after promotion, drawing 0-0 with Burnley and Brighton has steadied the ship either side of the international break, after a switch to a 3-5-2 formation. 

Just two goals in eight top-flight games makes the next objective clear as City search for that desperately needed first victory, having registered a season-high of 15 attempts at goal. 

“It’s really frustrating, we’ve done everything but take our chances,” Aarons admitted. “We were defensively solid, really solid, and then we have also created opportunities as well. 

“I know better than anyone, that doesn’t come often in this league that you get the clear-cut chances that we had. 

“It is frustrating but I thought the boys did really well, defended well and got forward well but just couldn’t take the chances.” 

Asked if he thought it was the Canaries’ best display of the campaign so far, the England Under-21 international replied: “I would say that. I think it had a bit of everything. Against Burnley we were solid but we lacked a bit going forward. 

“Whereas (against Brighton) we were defensively solid and created chances as well. I think our game had everything but just lacked that final bit.” 

Marc Cucurella of Brighton & Hove Albion and Max Aarons of Norwich in action during the Premier Leag

Marc Cucurella of Brighton and Max Aarons of Norwich battle for the ball - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Carrow Road faithful were fully invested in the battle, roaring their team forward throughout the second half and being whipped up by head coach Daniel Farke during a scrappy injury-time push for a winner that saw Grant Hanley head wide from a corner. 

Aarons added: “With the support we had in the game, me more than anyone I really wanted to reward them with that goal to hopefully win the game. 

“It didn’t happen but I can’t fault the support, I thought they were brilliant.” 

- You can listen to our review of the game in the latest episode of the Pink Un Podcast above and watch David Freezer's post-game verdict in the video below

NCFC EXTRA: Player ratings after Norwich City's 0-0 draw against Brighton