Johnson won't bow to Wilshere

  • Last Updated: April 10 2013, 16:26 BST

Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson admires Jack Wilshere but refuses to be intimidated by the player he must contain in Saturday's clash with Arsenal.

Bradley Johnson: Relishing playing against Wilshere on Saturday
Bradley Johnson: Relishing playing against Wilshere on Saturday

Wilshere is expected to return for the Barclays Premier League showdown at the Emirates Stadium after spending the last six weeks recovering from an ankle injury.

The 21-year-old is Arsenal's most influential figure but Johnson, who played non-league football for four years before joining Leeds in 2008, is relishing the prospect of their midfield duel.

"You want to play against the best and Jack is a terrific player, but on the day he's just another player in front of me who I want to beat," he said.

"I won't be fazed by how good he is, I'll try my best against him and hopefully we'll get the win."

Norwich have won just one of their last 16 Premier League matches to leave them casting anxious glances at the relegation battle unfolding below them.

Rejuvenated Arsenal are unlikely to offer any respite from their slide down the table - the Canaries are only four points above relegation - but Johnson is hopeful they can repeat the heroics they produced against the Gunners in October when they triumphed 1-0 at Carrow Road.

"No one expects us to go to clubs like Arsenal and Man Utd and win, but we've beaten both of them at home already this season so who says we can't do it away from home?" he said.

"We know it will be a hard game. If we get anything out of it, it will be a bonus.

"We work hard for each other and we got into Arsenal's faces at home. We upset their rhythm.

"We know it will be tough at the Emirates because they're on a good run of form, but if we go there and play like we did at Carrow Road, why can't we get a result there?"

Norwich have six matches to secure a third successive season in the Premier League with the fixtures against Stoke and Aston Villa key to their survival hopes.

"When you lose one and then a second, the pressure starts building. We went on a good run, going 10 games unbeaten, but that's in the past now," Johnson said.

"There are six games left and we view each one as a cup final. We have to treat every match as those it's the last game of the season.

"At this stage last season we were more or less safe, so we haven't been in this position before.

"The hardest thing is staying in this league. A lot of our players have come from the lower leagues and we don't want to go back there.

"It would be a great achievement for us to spend a third season in the Premier League.

"Everyone talks about second season syndrome, so to put that behind us and stay would be great."


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