Pilkington: OT miss behind me

Manchester United were expected to hammer Norwich two weeks ago,

but Paul Lambert’s men put in an impressive display and missed a

hatful of chances before going down 2-0. Pilkington hit a post and

also missed an easy chance to put Norwich ahead when clean through

against the champions, but he was on much better form on Saturday,

scoring twice to send Swansea home to a despondent Wales with

nothing. The 23-year-old, a £2million summer signing from

Huddersfield, rifled home his first with less than a minute on the

clock and then went on to wrap up the 3-1 win with a close-range

finish after a neat turn to lose his marker. “I’ve seen the chance

I missed at United a few times. It was painful watching it,”

Pilkington said. “But everyone misses chances. Everyone is human.

It’s how you bounce back from that. “The gaffer said just keep

doing your stuff and the goals will come and luckily they have. “I

have been grateful that I had the chance to put it right after 48

seconds. I wasn’t going to miss that one.” Pilkington’s route to

playing top-flight football has been a roller-coaster one. After

beginning his career in non-league football with Stockport, two

years ago he was plucked from obscurity by Huddersfield, where he

starred in the club’s League One campaign before breaking his leg

towards the end of the season. The youngster bounced back from the

injury and put in a series of impressive displays which persuaded

Norwich to take a gamble on him this summer. Pilkington, who is now

the Canaries’ top scorer with three goals, is loving life at the

top. “You can’t beat the feeling of scoring in the Premier League,”

he said. “I’ve scored goals at grounds where there wasn’t even a

crowd behind the goal. There was nothing apart from grass, trees or

houses. “I have worked really hard and it’s all paying off now.

“It’s been a big step up for me and it’s one that I like to think

I’m thriving on. “I love playing against the big teams in the big

stadiums.” Challenges do not come much bigger than next week’s trip

to Liverpool, but for Pilkington, an even bigger match awaits him

at Carrow Road the following week against the team he supported

growing up – Blackburn. “That will be a massive day for me,”

Pilkington added. “Most of my family are Blackburn fans so they

will be down. “I used to go and watch them all the time as a kid.

Alan Shearer was my hero. I used to have his poster on my wall.”

Despite losing, Swansea looked dangerous at times, with goalscorer

Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair impressing up front. Their downfall

was slack marking. Pilkington easily beat his marker to the ball

for both his goals and Russell Martin headed home Norwich’s second

unchallenged. The Swans, who along with Norwich were ear-marked as

relegation certainties at the start of the season, have still

collected eight points from their first eight matches and manager

Brendan Rodgers was not too despondent after yesterday’s defeat.

“We’re delighted to be in the best league in the world and I’m not

going to kill the players because they’ve been absolutely

magnificent for me this year,” Rodgers said. “We’re going to have

days like this. Probably more so than last season. Its important

for us to have the ability to bounce back and go again. That’s

something we’ve been able to do.” Rodgers thinks his team will be

much more effective against Wolves next week. He added: “Physically

one or two looked a wee bit jaded because of the travelling, the

high pressure games and the internationals. “All this is new for

us. We’re all still learning. “We’ll recover well and then we’ll go

and have a good week’s training and get a good result at Wolves.”