Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Chris Hughton has rejected the idea Norwich City were tactically naïve in their latest Premier League 3-0 away defeat at Swansea City.
The Canaries’ chief opted to pair Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Johan Elmander in tandem at the Liberty Stadium, but the Swans’ midfield dominance was a decisive factor in a 3-0 win that sucked Norwich back into relegation danger ahead of West Brom’s Carrow Road visit. City have lost six top flight away games on the bounce in 2014 despite Hughton shuffling his personnel and formations in a bid to stop the rot.
“I am not tactically unaware of what is expected of us but it is about producing on the day,” said Hughton. “The preparation going into the game was good. There was no reason for that type of performance. We know how difficult it is away from home, full stop, for a group of teams but I expect more. We have tried different formulas and looked to be positive and then at other times we have had games where we have sat back a little bit deeper, tried to make ourselves hard to beat and hit teams on the counter. Those are questions you always ask yourself after the game. Swansea is a very good side when you give them time and space on the ball.”
City’s failure to follow up a stirring home win over Sunderland raises the stakes again for the Baggies’ weekend visit but Hughton denied his squad were complacent against the Swans.
“Absolutely not. Everybody in that changing room knew the importance of the game and particularly with it being against another side around us in the table,” he said. “There is always a commitment from the team. We started the game trying to work in the holes but to play that way you have to keep the ball well. They were in the ascendancy for a fair chunk of the game and we didn’t allow ourselves to get into it at any stage. We didn’t have the pace they had and they had more energy in the key areas.”