We'll go into the Premier League with no fear - Norwood

Oliver Norwood in action for Albion at Norwich last season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Oliver Norwood in action for Albion at Norwich last season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Midfielder Oliver Norwood says Albion will go into the Premier League with no fear.

The Seagulls have returned to the top flight of English football for the first time in 34 years and host Manchester City in the season-opener on August 12.

Norwood, 26, played 33 times as Brighton finished runners-up in the Championship last season and he now wants to stay among the country's elite teams.

Looking ahead to the new campaign, he said: “We just need to stay in the division. You look at the calibre of teams in there and we’re quite lucky that we’ve got five or six of the biggest teams in the world playing in the same division as us.

“It’s going to be tough, but we’re going into it with no fear or worries. It’s an exciting challenge and the lads have worked ever so hard to get there so we’re not going to let it slip away without a fight.

“You look at Bournemouth and Burnley who have stabilised and stayed in there. There’s no reason why a club like us, with the infrastructure we’ve got, can’t stay there. With the manager and group of players we’ve got, there’s no reason why we can’t do that.”

Norwood returned for pre-season training on Monday, following his commitments with Northern Ireland, who gained a crucial 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Azerbaijan.

He said: “The game in June away at Azerbaijan was really tough, as we weren’t at our best. Even though we won the game, we are a tad disappointed with the way that we played.

“Saying that, we finished our season six weeks earlier, whereas the Azerbaijan players were still playing domestically, so it was a fantastic result.

“If we win the next two games, I believe we can guarantee a play-off spot, which will be exciting. But there’s plenty of running and plenty of football before we next meet up, so there’s plenty to concentrate on before then.”

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