Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong not troubled by Manchester United's frontline
Thursday 15 November 2012
Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong knows Robin van Persie can “smell” goals, but intends to help the Canaries snuff out the threat of the Manchester United striker at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The Dutchman has hit eight Barclays Premier League goals already since his £24million summer move from Arsenal.
United head to Norfolk top of the table after their battling 3-2 win at Aston Villa, where they overturned a two-goal deficit.
Norwich, though, have kept three clean sheets since the last international break, beating Arsenal and Stoke in their previous two home matches.
Bassong maintains Chris Hughton's side must focus on another strong collective display rather than worrying about the quality of the frontline they will be facing.
"We know that it is going to be tough against Manchester United, we all know what they can do with quality players," said the former Tottenham defender.
"Van Persie has great touch, great quality on the ball. Even if he does not have time he can score goals, he can smell the football and knows where to go, just like Rooney, they know where to move on the pitch. They are high level players.
"It will be really hard to stop them, but I think we can do it
"We don't have to focus on them too much, just on ourselves and doing the best game we can then we will see what happens.
"Manchester United can scare some people before the game has started, but I am sure it will not be the case with us."
Norwich are unrecognisable from the shambles taken apart by both Liverpool and Chelsea just over a month ago, having shipped 17 goals in seven games and looking relegation fodder.
The goalless draw at Reading last weekend made it eight points out of the last 12 for the Canaries.
Bassong added: "Our defensive performances have been spot on, but that is because the team have been playing all together - we have been tight from the front to the goalkeeper.
"We just have to keep that going and with a bit of luck, maybe we can do something.
"When you are solid at the back, you will always get a chance to score."
Bassong, 26, has settled quickly into Norfolk life since his £4million August transfer, and has already become a cult figure among supporters.
The Cameroon international is glad to have put what was a testing spell during his final few months at White Hart Lane behind him.
"It is just the character I am, it could have been the opposite and taken me ages to settle down," he said.
"That was not the case and I am really happy.
"The manager and my team mates have helped me out, hopefully it will continue to go on like this."
Unlike United, Norwich had just a few players away this week, with goalkeeper John Ruddy an unused substitute for England in Sweden while midfielder Wes Hoolahan played for Republic of Ireland in their 1-0 home defeat against Greece, while defender Steven Whittaker continued his comeback from injury with a full 90 minutes for Scotland in Lithuania.
Midfielder Alex Tettey pulled out of the Norway squad with a minor back problem and should be available. However, defender Russell Martin (back) is not yet match fit.
Latest in Sport
Crystal Palace manager latest: Malky Mackay ruled out due to messy departure from previous club Cardiff
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Angel Di Maria latest: Manchester United target is Real Madrid's 'best player', says Diego Simeone
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 4 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women