An intense grounding at Sao Paulo has helped Gabriel Sara embrace the pressure of being Norwich City's main man. 

The Brazilian midfielder has had a sparkling start to the Championship campaign and quickly established himself as a key player in David Wagner's side. 

His performances have been recognised by the EFL, with the Brazilian star being named as the division's Player of the Month for August. 

Sara has been the heartbeat of City's midfield engineroom and played a key role in helping them race out of the blocks in the opening stages of the Championship season. The mission now is to maintain those high levels of performance throughout the campaign. 

But his education through the Sao Paulo academy has helped him contend with expectation and pressure to produce performances - with there being no hiding place for those who fail to hit the standards at the Brazilian club. 

“They’re a huge club and have something like 20million supporters so you have to play well because if you don’t things can be really crazy. 

“For the first ten games I played really badly. But our manager at the time Fernando Diniz, who is now the Brazil national team coach,  really helped me. He and my family gave me a lot of moral support but it was so tough.

“When you play for a huge team, they expect great things from you, and you want to give it to them. To my mind it was good because after that I was more mature.

“I’ve learnt to embrace the pressure and not think about it. 

“When you’re a kid playing football, we just enjoy it, we don’t worry about whether the other team is going to score or anything like that.

"You can’t keep playing like a kid of course, you improve and go through many steps and win games," he told the Sun.

“The club pays the wages but also football is a show – there are a lot of supporters watching the game and sometimes they will be happy. 

“I can see this through my dad, my dad watched every game and was sometimes depressed for the whole weekend! If we win, he will go and smoke a cigar.

“This is the same with our supporters – they will be happy for the weekend then get ready for the next game. That’s why we have to embrace the pressure and at the same time give them a good show.”

Norwich are hoping to respond to their setback against Rotherham United prior to the international break with victory over Stoke on Saturday afternoon. 

That defeat took some of the air out of City's impressive start to the Championship campaign which has seen belief restored to supporters after an underpar campaign last year. 

The Pink Un: Gabriel Sara has lit up the Championship so far this season.Gabriel Sara has lit up the Championship so far this season. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Sara knows the importance of a bright start after how last season unfolded - but also knows there is plenty of work to do in the months ahead. 

“The hunger and desire is there and we must keep that. We cannot rest. We’ve had a great month and it’s been a good four games but must keep going," he said.

“I’d like to think every game is a chance to be better. If we play badly in one game you know you can put it right in the next one. We must continue with this mindset.”