STRIKER Simeon Jackson admits he is going through one of the most testing spells of his career, but is ready to help fire Norwich to a first Barclays Premier League victory in five games should he be called upon against Newcastle on Saturday.
The diminutive Canada international scored in the 3-0 FA Cup win at Peterborough last weekend, which was a rare start in only a 14th appearance of the season.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton has opted for a big target man for most of the campaign, with captain Grant Holt leading the attack supported by Wes Hoolahan.
Holt has resumed full training ahead of this weekend’s game at Carrow Road after a hamstring problem, but Steve Morison (thigh) is still sidelined.
While on-loan Tottenham forward Harry Kane could be given the nod against the struggling Magpies, Jackson, 25, is ready to take his chance should it come along.
“It is tough, everyone knows that, everyone wants to get a game, but it is the way we play and the strengths we have in the squad, you just have to wait for your chance,” said Jackson.
“Team-wise it is not good to have two of your main strikers injured, but it is an opportunity and it is one I will be looking to take.
“From the start of the season, the competition has been tough and you have to go out there every day and keep showing the manager (what you can do), to make sure you are fit and sharp.
“At the start of the season, the manager said to me I was unfortunate not to keep my run in the team going.
“When you are sitting there watching, you understand that, if it is what is working and getting the team results, then fair enough, I have to take a back seat.
“It is a rollercoaster and when you are not playing it is tough, but it is part of the job, you have to keep your levels up in training and your mind right for when you do get the chance.”
Jackson, signed from Gillingham in the summer of 2010, after Norwich had won the power League One title, added: “The manager has been really good with myself and some of the other lads who have not been playing.
“It is good to have that feedback, and you don’t always get that with managers.
“That does make it easier and you know you just have to keep going in training, to see it out.
“If I do play, it will be different because I am looking to play on the shoulder of the defender, and get in behind.
“I will compete hard like I always do and try to play to my strengths, try to get some goals.”
The likes of Celtic duo Gary Hooper and Beram Kayal have both been linked with a switch to Carrow Road during the January window, as have Swansea frontman Danny Graham, Monaco’s Ibrahima Toure, Brighton striker Craig Mackail-Smith, Utrecht forward Jacob Mulenga and Luciano Becchio from Leeds.
While Hughton knocked back suggestions a deal had already been struck for Hooper, the Norwich boss admits he is working to bring in new players if possible.
“There are always players you are looking at and there are always players we are going to be linked with, that is normal and happens with every club,” said Hughton, who has allowed centre-half Elliott Ward to re-join Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the season.
“One thing we are adamant about is any player we do bring in has to improve and add to the quality we have already got here.
“We are working towards that and certainly if something happens it will be because it is right for us and if nothing happens, then we are quite happy with the squad we have at this particular moment.”