Chris Hughton is confident Norwich City will be ready for the big Premier League push

Norwich boss Chris Hughton remains convinced City can secure their Premier League status. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich boss Chris Hughton remains convinced City can secure their Premier League status. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Saturday, March 8, 2014
7:30 AM

Chris Hughton saw nothing in Norwich’s implosion at Aston Villa to alter his conviction the Canaries will survive in the Premier League.

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Hughton realises only a winning response against Stoke on Saturday can serve to limit the damage from a first-half collapse that punctured much of the positivity from City’s recent upswing.

“Yes we believe we can keep Norwich in the Premier League and there isn’t anyone here who feels different,” he said. “Our form has been up and down and we haven’t had the consistency that we would have liked but we are in and around a group of teams who are in a similar situation.

“Just in these recent weeks it has been shown what a win and conversely a defeat can do for you. We have to make sure we take care of our own business and make life a little bit easier for ourselves.

“We are going into that final stage of the season where the games become bigger, particularly against those around us in the league. We know that. This is the time when you look for the character, quality and resolution to come through.”

Hughton’s preparations this week did not require a plan to try and nullify Stoke’s creative spark Charlie Adam, who starts the first of a three-match ban for violent conduct.

“I’m sure it is a disappointment for the lad and Stoke that he is missing three games. You are always mindful of those things but we have to make sure we prepare for the 11, not one player,” he said. “It is always tough against Stoke. They have very good players and a consistency in the team but the challenge for us is we would go above them with a win. We are at home and certainly after our last performance we are grateful for that and we have to take full advantage.”

Jonny Howson’s long-range strike secured a 1-0 Premier League win in the corresponding fixture but Hughton detects signs of genuine evolution under Mark Hughes following the Tony Pulis era.

“That was probably as good as we have been away,” said Hughton. “If I remember right we had not won for a little while away from home and not just the fact we won but the performance I thought we were excellent. We caught them just as the new manager had come in and they were in the process of changing the style of play to some degree. There are certainly changes that I can see but what they still have in their team and the way they play they are physically a big team and they are able to still use Peter Crouch up front. He gives them a really good outlet. They are trying to play through midfield, but they can mix it up.”

Hughton has not been afraid to shuffle his own pack after previous heavy away defeats and the City boss faces the same dilemma following events in the West Midlands.

“You don’t want to change for change’s sake. You want to keep good players on their toes and those are decisions I have to make,” he said. “Irrespective of what has been said everyone here would have been hurting and particularly the players. They will know this is the next opportunity. Before Villa we were on the back of what I felt was four good performances, with Tottenham the stand out, and for 25 minutes we were good. That is the balance.”

16 comments

  • Thank you Lobbo

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Norman Hall, if you actually followed football at all, let alone NCFC, you would know Charlie Adam will not play as he is banned. Your comment really does sum up the quality of debate on these pages on recent weeks.

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Oh Scotcan ,did I nip a nerve. Your nickname suggests that you might come from the same area as Adam. Your personally offenssive remarks say more about you than my lack of knowledge of banned Stoke City players. Keep to soccer issues in future.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Fabulous result, so much so that I am now going for a two one win having paralleled Hughton's big push.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Upon my soul, Charlie Adam with dark glasses and a trilby holding out somewhere in Coventry with a derringer. Our rear guard, will not be phased by his absence, even if they buy Ronaldo as a last minute replacement, which of course they can't do due to transfer shutters and so forth. Just for the record, I am reasonably confident that I will return from the bathroom in approximately ten minutes, weighing slightly less than I do at the moment. Should this assumption prove to be incorrect, I will endeavour to keep you informed of my managerial progress, and whether or not, in my humble opinion, it will affect the outcome of this afternoon's result, which, incidentally, I predict to be a somewhat flatulent one one.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Trouble is, Hughton, you haven't shown you can beat the teams around us very often. A good win against Spurs and then it is back to another inept away performance.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Has norfolkngood`s contribution been censored out? Was it because of his `digit` comment? Or was it my fault for agreeing with his comment about The Padster`s logorrhoea? If so, I`m sorry, nng. Harsh, Archie ;-(

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Chris the only thing I'm confident of is you getting us relegated. We won't escape dropping into the bottom three this weekend so I'm confident you'll be sacked.

    Report this comment

    Oz Canary

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Lobbo ol` pal,that was indeed a tetchy outburst from ScotCan - he`s not normally like that. His usual `thing` is implying that there`s a sinister hidden agenda behind most of us believing Hughton to be a poor manager. norman hall, it would appear that Jon Walters was handed the responsibility for Chopper Charlie`s `Kevin Muskratian` duties. Quality vicious attack on the side of Tettey`s knee, high chance of causing serious damage. Perhaps Walters has a `hidden agenda`, SC? BP2, I was totally fazed by the gratuitously graphic description of your evacuational activities. Kept thinking of `F@t B*****d` from the Austin Powers film. And ScotCan Oh no, he`s left a `floater`;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • Thing is, norkolkngood, Paddy`s report is basically all Hughton`s words, hence the lack of logorrhoea. That finger looks like an index one rather than the middle one, so it may not be `that sort` of finger? Chrissy`s comments on beating Stoke give the impression he`s apologising for it! That `4 good performances` we were on the back of was comprised of 1W, 1D and 2 defeats (Cardiff and WHU away debacles). All the good work vs ManC & Spurs cancelled out. I don`t want to see us relegated. Massive missed opportunity that would be, after the miracle that was the Lambo years.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • That quote says it all “It is always tough against Stoke. They have very good players and a consistency in the team". When will we get a manager that says, their league position suggests that they are a poor side so we intend to go out and hammer them!

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • 'Scotcan', if a fellow supporter makes a mistake simply point it out to him. There was no need to be rude.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Chris the only thing I'm confident of is you getting us relegated. We won't escape dropping into the bottom three this weekend so I'm confident you'll be sacked.

    Report this comment

    Oz Canary

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • CH, Stoke are not that good. N City,however,are worse. The Villa shambles could quite easily happen again today. If Crouch is playing ,it is hard to see how City can handle his height. Bassong is a real weaknes at the heart or our defence. He did prove to be able to score goals last week. CH , why not reverse the team. Hooper ,Rip Van Winkel as central defenders with Bassong and his sidekicks up front. CH, you have tried everything else and failed. Maybe this would work.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • One more thing. N City beware of Charlie Adam, he has a habit of "accidently " stamping on legs and ankles. Gareth Bale is a testament to Adam " accidental " actions.

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    norman hall

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • I think most of the posters on this board anticipated what CH would say. Congratulations Paddy on leaving the thesaurus behind. I do wonder who the finger is for in the picture. To the left of the dugout as you look at it!!!

    Report this comment

    norfolkngood

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

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