City’s rising star is determined to avoid the hype after his first Premier League goal
PUBLISHED: 17:15 25 August 2019 | UPDATED: 23:31 25 August 2019
He’s the first Norfolk-born player to score a Premier League goal for Norwich City in over 14 years but Todd Cantwell is determined to ignore any hype about his progress.
The 21-year-old's early equaliser during Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Chelsea continued a fine start to the season for the midfielder. The Dereham-raised talent is trying to stay calm about his career hitting the big time though.
"I'm trying not to focus on that so much and just looking forward to the next game," he said, when asked if he was looking forward to watching Match of the Day. "I don't want to get caught up too much in it all, just take it as the next game and try to do the best I can."
Ryan Jarvis was the last player from Norfolk to score for the Canaries in the top flight, against Liverpool in January 2005, and Cantwell deliriously celebrated his strike with the Carrow Road faithful.
Yet having been unable to keep track of Chelsea right-back Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of the Blues' first goal, the youngster earned a huge cheer in the second half after charging back to tackle the Spaniard after Jamal Lewis had been caught out of position.
He added: "You can't play in a Premier League side and not be willing to do the dirty work, as they call it. So I think that's a responsibility that probably doesn't come naturally to me but I force that out of myself."
It was a meeting of two attacking styles, won by Frank Lampard's visitors, but Cantwell was happy with the amount of positives City could take from defeat to one of the Premier League big boys.
"That's the way we all want to play," he continued. "We've all bought into that, we're an attacking team and we've created chances against a very good team. They won the Europa League last season and we created chances in the first half. If we keep doing that I think we'll get to where we want to get to."
Cantwell was capped at under-17 level by England and still qualifies for U21 selection, with Canaries colleagues Ben Godfrey and Max Aarons expected to be in contention for the latest squad, which is being named on Friday.
"I'm 98 born so I think I probably qualify for it," he concluded. "But I'm trying not to concentrate on too much outside of this football club and I've just got to look forward to the next game really."