'He's got everything you want... he's astonishing' - praise for new Town striker Norwood
PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 July 2019
New Ipswich Town striker James Norwood has 'everything a modern coach wants' and could comfortably play in the Championship.
That's the opinion of Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe, with the former Everton and Sheffield Wednesday defender glowing in his assessment of the striker signed to spearhead the Blues' League One promotion bid.
Norwood scored 32 goals last season to fire Tranmere to promotion prior to his departure, with Hinchcliffe highlighting the striker's work-rate and leadership as well as his ability to put the ball in the net.
"I've obviously seen him play a lot over the season and his goal tally speaks for itself, but I'm sure if you looked at those three (play-off) finals and saw who covered the most ground, James Norwood would (come out on top)," he told the EFL podcast.
"It was absolutely incredible to see his work-rate. In extra-time he was sprinting after centre halves, not just jogging or looking tired. It was as if it was the first minute of the game.
"His fitness levels, his attitude, his appetite are excellent and he has a nastiness to his game, so he's got everything you want if you're a coach in the modern game. Yes, you want goals, and you have to tick that box, but the work-rate to start the press and lead the defensive set-up is really important.
"I've never seen anything like it and I was truly astonished. You see a lot of these goal-scorers who maybe in the six-yard box, there for the tap ins, but the amount of work he does for the team, the angles he runs, running the channels holding the ball up, the strength he shows, the leadership. He's everything you want.
"He could comfortably play in the Championship, I've got absolutely no problem with that because he's got all the attributes you need for a modern striker.
"There will be many coaches who maybe have slightly disregarded him because he scored a lot of goals at lower levels, but if you watch the semi-finals and then the final (of the play-offs) alone you will have been mightily impressed with his work off the ball and then his desire to score goals as well.
"He was truly astonishing."
Norwood joined up with the Blues this week and could make his debut tomorrow against Paderborn in Germany.