December 9 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Chris Hughton hailed his players’ deep reserves of character after Jonny Howson’s strike sealed Norwich City’s first away win of the Premier League season at Stoke.
City ended a run of five consecutive defeats at the Britannia Stadium to cap an encouraging week for the club after Tuesday’s comeback Capital One Cup extra-time success over Watford. Hughton admitted patchy Premier League form in the opening month of the new campaign had put a strain on his squad to pick up the pace.
“That’s when you look for players to dig deep, and I think that’s when they really enjoy it. That’s why we’re in this game,” he said. “It’s really nice that it’s come away from home too, because we’ve struggled to get the right formula away from home. The away wins are the ones that give you the most joy. I don’t think there will be anyone who saw the game thinking that we didn’t thoroughly deserve it. You have to battle against the height they have, and after they changed in the second half to go more direct, you have also got to show a real desire and your physical abilities in the team. I thought over the 90 minutes we were excellent, and we needed to be because once you deploy that system you need to make it work. It was a good all round team effort, and it had to be.”
Hughton hailed the impact of match-winner Howson who he paired in a powerful central midfield trio alongside Leroy Fer and Alex Tettey.
“I thought all three were excellent. We needed it with Alex the way they set up and he gave us that little bit of extra pace and power,” he said. “Jonny is a talent. He’s a player from midfield who likes to break, so it’s the same with him as it is with Leroy Fer – it’s about getting those right balances.”
Potters’ chief Mark Hughes was at a loss to explain the hosts’ lacklustre showing.
“We didn’t see that coming today because we have been really good. That is the disappointment and the mystery,” he said. “There is a minimum requirement for what you have to do in a game to affect it, and you need the vast majority of your players playing at that level, allowing you to compete. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough players at the right level today. As a consequence we didn’t make it too difficult for Norwich, and it was an easy result for them. From our point of view that is a galling thing.”