Chris Hughton - Norwich City must hold their nerve in Premier League survival scrap

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton and Hull counterpart Steve Bruce know they are in for a tense Premier League finale. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City boss Chris Hughton and Hull counterpart Steve Bruce know they are in for a tense Premier League finale. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
6:45 AM

Chris Hughton believes Norwich City must hold their nerve to escape what promises to be the tightest Premier League survival battle in years.

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The Canaries are one of 11 top flight rivals separated by just six points in the standings and Hughton admits it is now impossible to ignore the repercussions from results elsewhere over any given weekend. Norwich pulled five points clear of the bottom three by beating Hull City 1-0 at Carrow Road but Hughton knows they could be sucked back into trouble ahead of tests against Newcastle, Cardiff and West Ham.

“We are talking about small margins and big wins when three points like against Hull become even bigger,” he said. “It is almost a case now where you go through the fixtures on any given Saturday and there will be teams playing against each other who are both desperate for the points.

“You are then looking at the results of other sides, which is something you shouldn’t do, really. The tighter it gets, those wins get bigger. You can’t really enjoy it for too long because we have a big game coming up (against Newcastle).”

Hughton realises the Canaries have to cash in at Carrow Road when they face his former club next week after failing to win consecutive Premier League games this season.

“Generally they will dictate the season. The majority of the teams around us will rely heavily on the home performances,” he said. “After a couple of heavy defeats we have certainly been better away and it is a nice feeling to be higher up the table. What you want to be able to do is be in a position to look upwards. I said it in the programme notes that a win would put us on the same number of points as Hull and everyone has spoken about how well they had done this season, and they have of course. We now have to continue putting in these performances and get a few more breaks.

“We probably didn’t work their goalkeeper enough in the final third but we put them under a lot of pressure and we have to start turning those crosses into the box into more clear-cut chances. That is where we have fallen short of late.”

• Norwich City’s re-arranged Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final tie at Cromer Town will take place this Thursday, Janury 23 (Kick-off 7:30pm). Tickets will be available on the night at Cabbell Park, priced £5 per person for adults with free entry for under-16s.

27 comments

  • You're quite right dingo. Its given me renewed patience for Hughton now knowing the players are still capable of busting a gut for him. Even if it took him to reach the very brink for them to prove it.

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    MancCanary

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • The 11-team `Sub-Premier League` is just about cut off from the rest now. I wonder if even 35 points might prove to be sufficient? Goal difference could be crucial. Agree with other posters; though the quality was not great vs Hull, there was plenty of fight this time. Like him or not, you can never doubt that Bradders will be in there fighting! Soon have Tettey back, but what`s the full picture on Howson and O Lobbo`s fave, Li`l Benno?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Six points separate the 'bottom' eleven with no clear favourites for the drop. There are, however, more than three teams below us whose form is worse than ours. On that basis we should stay up...

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    Cecil

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • lol! Nothing wrong with being positive, my issue is my heart cant cope with the nerves of hoping others are worse than us ha!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Some teams target a player as part of a game plan. For example many teams target Joey Barton and try get him to explode resulting in a red card. I personally wouldnt target a Newcastle Player, but in fact there manager. Id take great pleasure in 2 footing that arrogant so & so. Hopefully we get a bit of luck and hes left spitting feathers again!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • So, 1 0 against Hull, goal scored by a defender really late, green shoots.. Just one thing for it, beat Newcastle

    Report this comment

    Gruff

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Pity we can't have a cross-country race of the Premiership managers to decide final league placings. I've a feeling that's @ least one area where CH would do rather well. He's like a whippet. "Wor Brucie" by contrast is obviously no stranger to McDonalds......I'm heartened by the fight shown + the last min goal against Hull. For a second, I thought Lambo was back on the bench with one of his late,late shows. See how they get on against the bigger clubs now. We'll probly need a couple of points from the last 4 games + it won't be easy.

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Mind you, if we can actually beat Newcastle next week then things may look brighter, lets just hope the lads stay positive for that one.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • So, 1 0 against Hull, goal scored by a defender really late, green shoots.. Just one thing for it, beat Newcastle

    Report this comment

    Gruff

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Whilst I am not CH biggest fan I wouldn't want to criticize him unfairly as that only takes us all off to la la land. Accordingly, I have been working on my number crunching machine to try to put a few things in perspective. I have looked at the last three seasons in the Prem., although obviously this season isn't done yet so I cannot get a full set of stats for it. The machine she say that we don't score enough goals and are therefore always going to be liable to defeat to free scoring sides. Hot news...eh!! In 201112 he who shall be nameless finished with average goals for per game of 1.34 and against 1.73. In 201213 CH finished with average goals for per game 1.07 and against 1.52. If we extrapolate for this season CH will finish with average goals for per game 0.727 (which means we can expect to score another 10 goals this season) and against 1.68. It's clear where the problem lies and I just Hope that CH is working on this area almost exclusively in training, signings and other way he may have up his sleeve.

    Report this comment

    NICEONE

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I fear now that hoots is here for the rest of the season ,although I do think that Saturdays result only papers over the cracks ,if Northampton come in for CC let him go and tell hoots to get an attack minded coach to replace him. As hoots is always quick to praise all opposing teams I propose a Chang of tack ,TRY GIVING THE OPPOSITION SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT BY PLAYING TO OUR STRENGTHS RATHER THAN WORRYING ABOUT WHAT THEY CAN DO TO US ,try being more positive ,two up front was a start ,playing WES would be another step in the right direction ,drop Snodgrass play a right footed player on the right hand side get some crosses into our forwards and let the strikers do what they do best ,just a few suggestions on how to get some points I'm sure there must be plenty more ideas out there pleas take note Hoots

    Report this comment

    Victor meldrew

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • As things stand all 8 of our upcoming matches against bottom half teams are 6-pointers. At least it's more interesting than mid-table mediocrity.

    Report this comment

    Cecil

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I said last season may be the lowest total required to survive. Ultimately I was wrong but this season surely will be right?

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I keep looking at the fixture list and cannot see where we are going to get 17 points unless we up our game. I keep coming up with 12 points when I try to be honest about the games we have left unless we can turn Fulham over at their ground.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • At least they proved against Hull that they actually want to play for Hughton. Newcastle will be tougher and they certainly have more pace through the side than Hull. And us, come to that. Seventeen points to go - it's not impossible by any means but I still feel CH & Co. breed negativity.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I've the same problem TK. I know it wont be long either until I visit the BBC fixture predictor and work out our final position. I actually got it spot on last year for us (although wrong games etc....but correct points). Didnt have us staying up though, luckily I knew less about other teams potential points tallys! Some how we need a run of games. I dont care how they come, 4-0 or 1-0 in last minute, we just need wins. Wins at home and anything we can away like I say every season.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I had us picking up 14 points with the win against Hull, and that inlcuded a point away at Man U! It was based on our level of performance so far this season. However, if they can up their game from now on, who knows....has that corner actually been turned at last? Performance-wise I'd say not really, but at least we are showing some fight!

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Or we could just make an approach for Stig Inge Bjornebye and Bjorn Tore Kvarme to replace Hughton now.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Hear what your saying, but the attitude of "there is worse teams than us" does not sit well with me. Id be far happier us doing the job we have the players capable of doing than sitting here hoping those bellow continue poor form and we dont.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Whilst I am not CH biggest fan I wouldn't want to criticize him unfairly as that only takes us all off to la la land. Accordingly, I have been working on my number crunching machine to try to put a few things in perspective. I have looked at the last three seasons in the Prem., although obviously this season isn't done yet so I cannot get a full set of stats for it. The machine she say that we don't score enough goals and are therefore always going to be liable to defeat to free scoring sides. Hot news...eh!! In 201112 he who shall be nameless finished with average goals for per game of 1.34 and against 1.73. In 201213 CH finished with average goals for per game 1.07 and against 1.52. If we extrapolate for this season CH will finish with average goals for per game 0.727 (which means we can expect to score another 10 goals this season) and against 1.68. It's clear where the problem lies and I just Hope that CH is working on this area almost exclusively in training, signings and other way he may have up his sleeve. The plain blunt truth is that the defensive approach favoured by CH is not going to help us much in our current plight. Time for a plan B.

    Report this comment

    NICEONE

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • 'TK' someone has already mentioned that 36 \ 37 points might be enough this year as there are so many teams with a poor points tally at the mo. I am however feeling a little bit more positive with all this transfer talk. We needed a shakeup, and if it's not the management team then it has to be the team team.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Agree thats a negative way of looking at it. You could say it's Hughtonitis, and I seem to have caught it.

    Report this comment

    Cecil

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Crickey....Stig Inge Bjornebye thats nearly as left field as my call for Henrik Larsson.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I too can see City being on around 35 points with five games left. A win or two draws would then put the Canaries on 37 or 38 points. This may well be enough this season. Against the eight teams below us, we have 4 wins 4 draws and 1 defeat. The loss being to Fulham, the only one of the eight to score twice against us. Two wins and two defeats against the 8th to 11th placed teams, which include Newcastle. One point only against the top seven but five of those matches were away from home. Get the Wolf scoring, players back and City can stay up. Am feeling a lot more confident than before Ryan Bennett's late goal on Saturday. That goal, which went in off Bruce junior, if I remember rightly, may be as important as the Jackson in-off against Derby, allegedly assisted by Robbie Savage!

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I fully understand as well how it may be the lowest points tally required in league history to stay up. I just would have prefered us to stay up because we get the job done ourselves rather than counting on others doing worse than us.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Squeaky; bum; time. Form a sentence. I hate this because I can't control it - nor can any of us. I just wish the apologists understood. And frack me, it's still January!

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Thinking similar to Brew. 40 might not be the magic number this season.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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