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Title is the target now for in-form Norwood

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

INJURED: Jimmy Cowan slips and suffers the knee ligament injury in his right knee during Gloucester's win at Northampton picture: Victoria Jones / TWM

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IMPOSSIBLE to keep out of the limelight, Forest Green's form horse James Norwood believes the club will be making plenty of collective headlines come April.

Norwood scored a brilliant hat-trick in Tuesday night's 4-1 demolition of Braintree Town, a day after signing a new contract that runs until 2015.

The result kept the men from the New Lawn in third place in the table, five points off top spot in a highly congested Blue Square Bet Premier table.

And Norwood, who is leading the club's scoring charts with 14 goals in all competitions, believes automatic promotion is still attainable.

He said: "There's no way we're not going to be in the play-offs – touch wood – but we're looking to win the league without a doubt.

"We've got the players to do it and the staff to do it, and with (chairman) Dale Vince's backing there's no reason why we shouldn't.

"It was a great team performance (on Tuesday) and that's what pleases me the most.

"For the first half-hour they couldn't live with us, and we know if we play like that for 90 minutes then no-one can live with us.

"I'm used to my position a lot more now and the strength of the team has improved from last year, and that allows me to stay higher up the pitch and not work as hard in terms of defending.

"I'm fresher when I get through on goal and a lot more composed now."

Norwood was linked with Football League clubs during the January window, while Forest Green knocked back a bid for his services from divisional rivals Luton Town.

But the 22-year-old did not take much persuading to pen a new deal, and he is relishing the race to be the club's top scorer with the likes of Yan Klukowski (12 goals) and Matty Taylor (11).

Norwood added: "The club is heading in the right direction and the lads are great, spurring each other on.

"When I had the two goals (against Braintree) and Yan scored I thought 'Here we go, Yan's going to catch me up any time soon.'

"The competition is great. We know we need to score to stay in the team and the gaffer has given us a run of games to do that.

"And when you see the other strikers warming up on the sidelines after 20 minutes you know you've got to put your foot down."

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