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Surman stakes his claim in City's crowded squad

Andrew Surman notched a brace against Parma on Saturday. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Andrew Surman notched a brace against Parma on Saturday. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

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Norwich City midfielder Andrew Surman admits City's squad face an anxious wait to learn their fate this week ahead of the big Premier League curtain-raiser at Wigan.

Surman pressed his claims for a start in the Canaries’ competitive midfield unit with a second-half brace against Parma in the club’s pre-season finale on Saturday.

The former England U21 international displayed his natural attacking instincts when he arrived late in the penalty box to brush home Grant Holt’s cut-back to double Norwich’s lead following Holt’s early first-half opener.

The 24-year-old then darted near post to squeeze a third past Antonio Mirante in the closing stages from Anthony Pilkington’s driven cross to cap another useful work-out.

The ex-Huddersfield wide player is one of seven new summer arrivals that have ensured competition is fierce for a starting place in Paul Lambert’s side ahead of this weekend’s trip to the north-west.

“It has. We’re going up a couple of levels going into the Premier League so it was always going to happen like that,” said Surman.

“Teams in the Premier League talk about having big squads and it is going to be a squad game this year.

“The games are going to be tough and everyone’s going to be called into action to try and pick up points, but it’s good for competition for places and it gets the best out of the players.

“I think probably with the manager bringing in players, he had to bring in the right ones with the right sort of character and he has done that. All the players that have come have settled in really well and they have continued from where we left off last season.

“They’ve settled in quickly, they are all really good lads and the team spirit is still really good.”

Surman was delighted with his final pre-season flourish after a gruelling month on the training pitches at home and abroad.

“Really pleased, yes. It’s always good to be on the scoresheet,” he said.

“It’s just probably more important to get 90 minutes under my belt really, and for a lot of the other players as well, so I might hopefully take a bit of form into the start of the season, if starting next week.

“It’s been good. We’ve worked really hard, been to Germany and the lads have worked really hard to get their fitness levels up and it’s great to finish the pre-season with a 3-0 win over a team that’s doing well in Serie A.

“We’re really pleased with that and I feel there is a lot of confidence in the squad and a lot of belief as well, and we’re going in next week with no fear.”

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