May 25 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 11, 2013
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich City were below-par against Southampton but insisted the Canaries could still have edged a goalless Premier League affair at Carrow Road.
Grant Holt’s stoppage time penalty miss and Maya Yoshida’s last-ditch tackles on both Holt and Robert Snodgrass during the second period were two of the best openings on a day of home frustration.
Southampton’s smooth attacking style triggered a steady stream of chances at the opposite end, with the Saints’ making the most of their numerical advantage in midfield.
“What you have got is two teams fighting for their lives,” said Hughton. “When you go 4-4-2 you know you are going to give away some possession in the middle of the park. They are playing five in there and they have good footballers. When the statistics come out regarding territorial advantage they will probably have had more possession than what we did. Was it one of our better performances? No, it wasn’t, but I still felt over the 90 minutes we restricted them to one good chance in that second half.
“Robert had the best chance of the game and of course we miss a penalty. The game opened up and we got in a few good crosses so I felt we might be the ones to get on the end of it. Overall, I felt at this stage of the season it was two teams fighting hard so a draw was a fair result.”
Sporting Kansas loan striker Kei Kamara was paired in tandem with Holt as Hughton deployed two out-and-out strikers for the second consecutive Premier League home game.
“I thought he did well considering it was his first start,” said Hughton. “I had to think long and hard about it and whether the decision was the right one. He gave us legs up front and something a little bit different.
“When you play two up front you have to give them good enough service in the areas that you can hurt the opposition. Going 4-4-2 meant perhaps we were going to be a little bit more open but you play that way because you hope it will reap a benefit in the other part of the pitch. On chances I thought we had the better ones.”
Wes Hoolahan was omitted from the starting line-up to accommodate City’s reshaped frontline, but the Irish international replaced Anthony Pilkington after another early hamstring-injury exit for the wide midfielder. City’s medical staff will assess the extent of the injury over the coming days, but Pilkington has already been withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland’s provisional squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
“The reason I chose to go with Pilks is with Snoddy on the right and Pilks on the left we could get into wide areas, get crosses in and that would be a good avenue for goals,” said Hughton. “I was perhaps not too disappointed to bring Wes on because I thought he might be able to give us a little bit of a grip of the ball in the middle of the park. With their numbers they were good in there and with him playing a little bit more infield that might given us some control of the game.”