May 23 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 3, 2012
Chris Hughton has urged his Norwich squad not to let their standards drop now after an invigorating Premier League display gave him a memorable first managerial return to White Hart Lane.
City’s hunt for a maiden league win of the campaign foundered on an impressive show of defiance from home keeper Brad Friedel.
Robert Snodgrass’ late leveller after Mousa Dembélé had again tormented the Canaries following his half-time arrival was the bare minimum the visitors’ collective efforts warranted.
Norwich’s response since an opening day pummelling at Fulham has been deafeningly positive – but Hughton warned the benchmark has now been set.
“It is all about performance because it is going to be a long, hard season,” he said, “Probably the one negative is we have put in two good performances and got two points and certainly we have deserved to have at least got three points from one of the games. I can’t fault the performances over the last two weeks.
“We need to play that way because we have some good players, but we don’t have the quality of some other teams in this league. We need to play with that honesty and endeavour and if we do we will continue to get some good results.
“The thing I was most pleased about was the response to going behind. It would have been easy to go into our shells but to go 1-0 behind here and not let our heads drop and then force an equaliser and to be pushing for a winner at the end speaks volumes. Even if it was a game we were not able to get back into at the end, I would have been proud of the performance.”
Hughton’s half-time message was a simple one after a dominant display without real tangible reward.
“I asked them to try and just keep it going,” he said. “That is difficult to do away from home. Tottenham have some wonderful individuals who can turn a game, but we did actually say to them if they got the first goal just to keep going.
“We certainly had the better chances. I think as the away side against the sort of quality they have here when you play that well you deserve something in the 90 minutes.
“It is a tough place to come. Sometimes that is how it happens. If you are away from home and you don’t take your chances against a side like Tottenham, they will wear you down and make the most of any opportunity.”
Hughton felt City may have had genuine penalty claims on his initial game-time view of Steve Morison’s late tangle with Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The City boss felt the hosts were less fortunate with Tom Huddlestone’s straight red in the closing minutes for a lunging tackle on Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson.
“My first impression was it was quite harsh. I must admit,” said Hughton. “I have seen it again, but not clearly. I don’t think it was a challenge where he was off the ground. The referee was very close. Whether he showed his studs or not I am not too sure.
“With the other incident at the time I felt it was a fairly good call but I haven’t seen it since.”
City’s Leeds-bred engine room of Bradley Johnson and Howson turned in a masterful outing, marred only by Howson’s inadvertent slip in the build-up to Dembélé’s opener.
“I felt for Jonny a little bit on the goal because it was another good performance by him,” said Hughton.
“He was involved in the goal, but he certainly made up for it with his endeavours over the 90 minutes.
“With Dembélé we had said to make sure you keep him off that left foot of his because he can certainly strike a ball. That was disappointing but the response as I said before after that was excellent. Bradley was excellent and he has had two good games now. He was the same at home to QPR and here. Jonny, likewise, and what we have got with David Fox back from injury and bringing in Alex Tettey and Wes Hoolahan, who featured so much last season and Andrew Surman, is real competition.”
Hughton said of goalscorer Robert Snodgrass: “He was a player who was desperate to play in this division. He’s had a very good apprenticeship at Leeds and performed very, very well. If ever there is a player who has learned his trade and got better as each season has gone on, I think it’s Robert.”