Norwich City’s Anthony Pilkington determined to stay in Premier League
Anthony Pilkington's first six months with a Premier League club have made him determined not to let top-flight football slip from his grasp.
After leaping two divisions with his �2m move from League One club Huddersfield Town in July, the 23-year-old forward has made a big impact for Norwich City, bagging five goals and earning some rave reviews into the bargain.
As the Canaries prepare for tonight's visit to Sunderland, perhaps three or four wins away from securing another season among the elite, Pilkington said the squad had lost none of their hunger and desire.
'Every game I think we relish so much,' he said. 'We're fresh into the league. We've got something to prove to ourselves – that we can do it at this level. Everyone is just hungry. You've seen the team spirit we've got and whether we're at home or away, we always try to come off with the three points.'
Pilkington has risen steadily up the football ladder since making his first appearance for Atherton Collieries as a 17-year-old in a North West Counties League Division One game in 2005, in front of a crowd of just 43.
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Now he's playing regularly for a team in the top half of the Premier League and the last 16 of the FA Cup.
'I've always dreamt of playing at this level and I've worked hard to get my chance to play at this level, so I'm not going to give it up easily,' he said.
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'I think it's been a really good season so far but we can't rest on our laurels and I hope we can carry it on, see it through to the end of the season.
'I'd like a few more goals from now to the end of the season, but it doesn't really matter who scores them as long as someone does and we come off the pitch with three points.'
Pilkington has been used mainly as a wide player by City boss Paul Lambert but has shown an uncanny ability to pop up in goalscoring positions, as well as scoring a superb free-kick in the 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa.
'I enjoy playing both sides or even playing in the middle. It doesn't really bother me as long as I'm playing,' he said. 'You can't complain if you're on the pitch, whether you're playing centre-half, in the net, on the wing or up front.
'It's when you're not on the pitch, that's when you want to start worrying. But I enjoy playing football and I'll play anywhere the manager asks me to play.'