Alexander Sørloth’s move to south London is one that he describes as having been an easy journey to take. He is delighted at the welcome he has received at the club together with settling into life in the Capital city but more importantly he has been able to carry out his boyhood dream of playing in the Premier League.
That was one of the reasons that helped make up his mind when he had the chance to make the move to Crystal Palace as well as the fact that his new boss had a good knowledge of the game in his homeland.
“When I was younger I always had a dream to play in the Premier League and I knew that the manager, Roy Hodgson, has a good knowledge of Norwegian and Scandinavian players. It’s important that you have a manager who believes in you and I know that Crystal Palace have had some Norwegian players before and they had done well so that was part of my decision as well.”
He has been made to feel at home with Norwegian fans already watching him at Selhurst Park but he is not surprised bearing in mind how popular the English game is in Norway.
“It’s really popular, every Norwegian who is interested in football in Norway has a Premier League team they support and its ridiculous when you see on the fan base of the biggest teams how many fans they have in Norway. Since I have joined the club at our home games there have always been Norwegians asking for autographs which is nice.”
Sørloth is the 64th Norwegian player to appear in the Premier League but with the English game being so popular it is no real surprise to the Palace striker that his own country has provided so many to the top level of the English game.
“Norwegian players famously have a good physique and that is very important in the Premier League, you have plenty of duels and need to win tackles so that’s a big part of it and also our mind-set, it’s also easy for a Norwegian to adopt to the Premier League because we speak English really well as we learn from very young so I think that’s also part of the reason.”
This weekend he knows back home that many will watching his progress as he continues in the early days of his Palace career, having joined on the final day of the winter transfer window. The squad have been boosted by a number of players returning from injury this week and Sørloth feels the group are approaching Saturday’s match at Huddersfield in the right frame of mind.
“It is an optimistic mood and we are looking forward to the game on Saturday that we will be looking to get three points in, especially because we have a lot of players who are back from injury which has given us some optimism in the squad.
“We need to focus on ourselves and to get the squad in good shape and then I think we can win the game.
“You always want to win but the stakes are a little bit higher for this game because Huddersfield are close to us in the table but every player in our squad has had experience with this kind of situation.”
Sørloth has appeared in four matches so far and even though the 22 year old is still looking to taste victory with the club he does feel that he has been able to take plenty of positives from his early taste of Premier League action.
“Of course you always want to win, but for me it has been good because I get a lot of experience for these type of games playing against the top teams in the league so I have to take that with me and hopefully can use that experience for the rest of the games.”
The trip to Huddersfield on Saturday sees an opportunity to move out of the bottom three against a side who are four points ahead of them in a congested half of the table but Sørloth is not one who pays too much attention to the current standings.
“I rarely look at the table because it can have a negative effect if you do that too much, for me it’s best to look back at the games and see what positives you can take and just keep going from there,” as he looks ahead to the final eight games of the season expecting the challenge for points to be just as competitive as he has already experienced.
“If you look at the games on paper they are supposed to be easier matches but some of the teams we still have to play are in the relegation zone as well so those are going to be tough games because they are going to be giving 100% so maybe those matches can be just as difficult as the ones we have already had but we just have to focus on ourselves and try to get the three points.”
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