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Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Friday, 30 July 2010 11:03 UK

Jens Berthel Askou not confident of Norwich City place

Jens Berthel Askou
Berthel Askou was signed from Turkish side Kasimpasa

Norwich City defender Jens Berthel Askou has admitted it would be a surprise if he were to line up in Paul Lambert's opening day side.

The 27-year-old from Denmark has missed most of the side's pre-season training because of the birth of his daughter, and says he is behind in match-fitness.

"I'm not expecting to step in and play but I'm more than happy to do it," Askou told BBC Radio Norfolk.

"Being in Denmark for more than a week sets me back a bit."

The arrival of a new member of the Askou family has meant that the centre-half had his mind on things other than football during the summer.

It's a big challenge for me personally, playing in the Championship. I'll push as hard as I can for a place in the team

Norwich City defender Jens Berthel Askou

He did not make the side's team-building trip to Germany, sparking speculation he was not part of Lambert's long-term plans, but insists it was simply for personal reasons.

"It was a tricky situation not being available for training at that period of time," he said.

"I'm very grateful that the gaffer allowed me to be with my wife at that time."

The former Kasimpasa player suffered a disjointed campaign last time around, playing 24 games in a season cut short by a foot injury.

Now he must prove his worth as Lambert's Canaries look to keep their League One title-winning momentum going.

"It's a big challenge for me personally, playing in the Championship," he added.

"Of course I'm hoping for as much game time as possible and I'll push as hard as I can for a place in the team."

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