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Nørgaard targets further improvement

Midfield player speaks in Mixed Zone after Southampton win

10 May 2022

Influential midfielder Christian Nørgaard is certain Brentford will be even better next season… with or without Christian Eriksen. Nørgaard was speaking in the Mixed Zone after Brentford beat Southampton 3-0 on Saturday. He hailed the influence his Danish midfield partner has had on the squad, but insists the club will be prepared for every eventuality.

“There's no doubt his impact has been crucial for us. Everyone has raised their game and that's what happens when you bring in a superstar like him,” Nørgaard said.

“Everyone gets a bit sharper and I think everyone has developed and increased their levels. He's been fantastic for us and we hope he’ll stay but if he doesn't, we’ll still be a fantastic team next year.”

The 28-year-old, whose interception stats are the best in the Premier League, joked that the Danish players in the squad were always in their countryman’s ear trying to encourage him to stay.

But he stressed: “We talk to him of course, but I also don't want to spend every hour of my life trying to convince him to stay and he decides not to and then we stand there empty-handed. We need to prepare for both things.”

Regardless of Eriksen's decision, Nørgaard is confident there’s a lot more to come from the current squad: “Individually and collectively it’s been a fantastic season, but it also makes us even more hungry to do better. There’s definitely improvements we can make and I think everyone has more in them than they think they have.”

Nørgaard, a strong candidate for a place in Denmark’s World Cup squad, has also been buoyed by how he has made his mark in the Premier League.

“It’s been really nice for me to see that I'm capable of playing in this league, that I'm a Premier League player and I can still improve,” he said. “The fact I’m more than good enough to play at this level gives me confidence and mentally that’s a really good feeling. It makes you just realise how fortunate and privileged you are but for now I’m just enjoying every moment – and we're not done yet!”

Highlights for the former Fiorentina man have been the win at Chelsea and his part in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool, “one of the most entertaining games of the season in the whole league”.

His downside was the spell where Brentford gained only one point, but he added: “That was a really tough time for us but we managed to bounce back and showed a lot of good mentality.”

Dare to ask Christian Nørgaard about the second season syndrome and his response is immediate and emphatic: “No. We’re only going to get better next year. That's always the mindset and we’ll keeping aiming as high as possible.”

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