Josh Sargent retained his place in Norwich City’s starting lineup on Friday night and rewarded manager Dean Smith in a big way.
Sargent started at Carrow Road and registered his first league brace of the EFL Championship season in a 2-0 victory over Millwall. It was Sargent’s second-consecutive match with a goal as he once again stepped in for star striker Teemu Pukki.
“I’ve said before Sarge is a good player,” Smith said about Sargent post match. “He works extremely hard and he went and earned that chance for himself. He put them under pressure right from kick-off in the first half, charging them down.
“That’s what you need and it’s good because he can go down both channels and what great competition it is for Teemu now,” he added. “It’s really pleasing for us as a football club that we’ve got good players within the squad and some not even playing or even on the bench.”
After a scoreless first half, Sargent broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, receiving a pass from Daniel Sinani before nestling a right-footed shot into the top-right corner. It was Sargent’s fourth-career league goal for Norwich City between his time in the English Premier League and Championship.
Norwich City continued to pile on pressure as the second-half went on and Sargent iced the result with his second goal of the match. A counter attack from the hosts eventually led to Kieran Dowell’s pass to Sargent just inside the Millwall box, before the American striker curled his right-footed shot into the bottom-right corner.
Sargent’s night finished in the 85th minute, drawing a match-high five fouls, registering three shots on goal, and completing one dribble. It was a Man of the Match performance from Sargent, who finished Friday’s match as joint top scorer in the Championship.
“I’m very happy with the week, two great results for us and two great games with goals from me, so I’m feeling pretty great right now,” Sargent said. “I think any striker would tell you it feels good when you’re scoring goals, so I’m full of confidence right now.
“It feels good to be playing striker again and I’ve definitely taken my opportunity when I’ve been given it and hopefully I can keep scoring goals,” he added.
Norwich City next hosts AFC Bournemouth in Tuesday’s EFL Cup showdown before visiting Sunderland and Birmingham City respectively in league action.