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USMNT’s Josh Sargent explains Norwich’s success: Before David Wagner ‘there was never a clear position for me’



USMNT's Josh Sargent explains Norwich's success: Before David Wagner 'there was never a clear position for me'

For most of his career, the way to describe US international Josh Sargent’s game was: “He does all the right things, but if he just put the ball in the back of the net he would be a complete striker.” Now coached by German-American David Wagner at Norwich citySargent does just that and it is paying off as his 15 goals in the Championship see the Canaries push for promotion to the Premier League.

Despite missing the Concacaf Nations League roster for the United States men’s national team due to an ankle injury, Sargent has scored ten goals for Norwich since early February. While team success is part of the reason for that, so is having a defined role for the first time in his career.

“Just when he came in, he made it clear that I was just going to be a striker in his system and before that there was never really a clear position for me. I was a kind of second striker or winger at Werder Bremen in my first years and even at Norwich,” Sargent said on CBS Sports Golazo Network’s Morning Footy about his role under Wagner. “So when he came in and told me that, I knew in my head that I could fully concentrate on that position again. The position I’ve been playing since I was a kid. It made me very happy and I’ve been able to improve every game and I feel like I’m in a really good place at the moment, so I give him a lot of credit.”

Teemu Pukki has now gone to Major League Soccer and Adam Ida has been loaned to Celtic Since January, he has shown the confidence Norwich had in Sargent to do the striker job single-handedly. It’s no surprise that Sargent has flourished since the show of confidence from those above him, but it’s not just them showing faith in the American, it’s his teammates too. Veteran Ashley Barnes recently called Sargent the team’s best layer.

“A player like [Barnes] who has been in the Prem for a while, hearing that from him is good for my confidence, and ultimately I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing for a while and just put my head down and work hard and everything will work out in the right way” , Sargent said.

Sargent isn’t the only American to light up the Championship, as Haji Wright has also scored 15 goals to push Coventry City into the hunt for promotion, but what’s interesting is that Wright is almost doing the opposite. While Sargent has found joy at the nine, it is Wright who is operating as a central striker and winger, which is music to the ears of USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter.

The two players no longer have to compete for one position in the national team, even though they may be competing for one spot for promotion to the Premier League. It will be quite a ride towards the final moments of the championship season and Sargent’s role and confidence will play a huge part in who comes out on top as the doors are opened for him when it comes to the Copa America.