Monday, November 19, 2012
Chris Hughton insisted his Norwich City players were the real stars of the show after a stunning Premier League win over Manchester United.
The Canaries’ boss was feted by the biggest Carrow Road crowd of the season for masterminding a rare success over the Red Devils. Hughton acknowledged the support pitchside, but praised the men under his command for another unforgettable occasion on home soil.
“Any praise that I will get or achievements here is all down to the 11 on the pitch,” he said. “All you can do is set the team up as you want and try to motivate them. You can try and tactically get them right but as soon as that whistle goes it is all about those 11 players.
“Right now we have a group who are confident in their own ability and are absolutely working their socks off. For any praise to come from supporters towards me is because they like what they are seeing and at the moment we have a support who like what they are seeing.
“This place is always noisy but Manchester United is a special occasion because of what they are as a club, as a team and as a manager. You would expect your support to rise to that and I thought they were excellent.”
Hughton did concede Anthony Pilkington’s match-winning header had marked a highpoint in his managerial career.
“Of course it is right up there. No doubt,” he said. “That is because it is Manchester United and even away from home it is a daunting prospect so any achievement is always up there.
“I don’t think too many have too much luck against Manchester United. I’ve obviously played against them a good few times. I made my debut against Manchester United, and we won actually, but I think most don’t have too much fortune against them.
“Yes it would be (among the best) but more so I am really proud of this group of lads. There is a good feel in that changing room at the minute.
“They had more of the play, they got more crosses in but I don’t think we didn’t deserve it. The players put in a real good shift.”
Hughton was in no doubt City’s victory over the three-time Kings of Europe was merited.
“What pleased me most was that over the 90 minutes we deserved what we got. I thought we limited them to really minimal chances,” he said.
“We could, perhaps with a little bit more composure, have put the game to bed a bit earlier. Manchester United have shown time after time that being 1-0 down doesn’t mean a lot to them. They can change the way they play. They open the game up and go a little bit more offensive, which they did do here, and they have great options in the squad.
“Probably for those who didn’t watch the game they were expecting United to get an equaliser and then a winner late in the game, but we defended really well from the front. You can’t solve all the problems, but we were certainly in the right place enough of the time.”
Ever the pragmatist, Hughton was quick to preach caution even in the midst of post-match euphoria after landmark league wins for Reading and Southampton over the weekend gave the latest Premier League table a different complexion.
“It is still about three points, albeit it is a great feel to do it against Manchester United,” he said. “After the first few games where we had performances, but not the points or that rub of the green, it is so vital now to pick up points.
“We’re on a good run. What it shows is if you we are at it and we are at our best then we can win football matches.
“It has to be that way. At a time when Reading and Southampton perhaps haven’t been able to do it they have both come up with wins – Southampton an away win and Reading a real good win against Everton. Anybody can get points. Whatever we say about this being against Manchester United the value of it is that we get another three points.”