May 21 2013 Latest news:
Friday, July 20, 2012
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists he has no hard and fast ideas about which formation he wants his team to adopt in the new Premier League campaign.
The first clues to the system the Canaries may use in 2012-13 will come in tomorrow’s opening pre-season game against Hertha Berlin in Gleisdorf, Austria.
Birmingham City operated mostly with a conventional 4-4-2 formation in the Championship under Hughton last season.
At the time, he said: “My preferred formation is 4-4-2 or a form of 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, with one playing a little bit more off the front, because I think that gives you a little bit more in the opposition half. It allows you to keep the ball more in their half.”
Under his predecessor at Carrow Road, Paul Lambert, City used a diamond midfield for most of their back-to-back promotion seasons, but there was more variation in systems and personnel as they adapted to life in the Premier League last term.
And after his players returned to training last week, Hughton stressed that it was important to keep an open mind on formation and style of football.
“How you go about your team, the changes you make, the consistency you have in your team and the formation you play are ongoing decisions,” he said.
“Some of that is governed by the results you get. If you’ve won a game, do you keep the same team? If you’ve lost a game, do you look for change?
“They are the decisions you can only make as the season goes on. But at the start of the season you want a really competitive squad where everybody is vying for places.”
Hughton makes no secret of the fact he prefers the passing game he was brought up with as a player at Tottenham, but also knows results take priority over style.
“Ultimately you want to win games and this league is the toughest league to win games in,” he said. “You at times have to adapt, whether that’s home or away, and do what you have to do to get a result. I do like a good tempo in the way that we play, but a team that ultimately is going to win games.
“I wouldn’t have thought there would have been any complaints last season if you were a Norwich supporter or a Swansea supporter in the way the team were playing, and ultimately they both got very good positions in the league.”