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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists there are some important Premier League games to focus on before a Capital One Cup meeting Paul Lambert's Aston Villa. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Chris Hughton insists next month’s Capital One Cup quarter-final against Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa will remain on the back burner for now in pursuit of more Premier League points.
The City chief will relish another test against his predecessor, after Norwich’s merited 1-1 draw at Villa Park last weekend, but Hughton’s focus is on the seven top flight games prior to Lambert’s first Carrow Road return - starting with this weekend’s visit from Stoke.
“It will be a difficult tie for us but the fact your name comes out of the hat first was always going to be the most important thing,” he said, speaking at Colney on Thursday afternoon just hours after his side’s memorable 2-1 comeback win against Tottenham. “I am quite sure the fact we are against Premier League opposition means it will be full house and hopefully a good occasion. We’ve got an awful long time to think about it because we are on the back of a very good win last night. We know what the draw is and what that means to everybody but I would have to say in all honesty we have seven games before. There is an awful lot of football to be played and irrespective of the opposition I am just pleased we won, we are through and we are at home. I must admit I haven’t thought too much about it today and I don’t think anybody has. We have a real tough game at the weekend. I know as we approach that game and the closer we get to the tie it will take on more significance. Certainly at this moment it is about a really tough game on Saturday.”
Hughton confirmed defender Russell Martin (back) will continue to be assessed by City’s medical staff ahead of this weekend, but the City boss has selection posers of the right kind after making ten changes for the Spurs’ cup victory.
“Yes, I do but that is what I was after,” he said. “I was very keen to stress before the game the changes I made were not young, aspiring players. They were generally experienced lads who have made a lot of appearances at this level. The exceptions were Jacob Butterfield and Steven Whittaker. Everybody else has played many games, either for this club or at this level. The lads who played are certainly pushing me. We have real good competition. Russell was the only one excluded and he is coming along and we will assess him tomorrow.”