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Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Sunday, February 23, 2014
The only factor that makes facing Tottenham special for Chris Hughton is if Norwich City can secure a priceless Premier League victory.
Hughton spent nearly three decades at White Hart Lane, winning trophies as an accomplished full-back and later a coach, but the Canaries’ precarious Premier League plight rules out any grounds for sentiment.
“I spent 28 years at the club and it was a wonderful part of my life but I am desperate for Norwich to get a result because I feel we deserve one,” he said. “Most would be aware of my Tottenham connections but I have been involved against both them and Newcastle enough times now so the important thing for me is my team puts in a winning performance.
“They are a very good side, but this is an opportunity for us. It is one of six home games left and if we reflect on the last one against Manchester City we produced a performance good enough to win against the top goalscorers in the division. Our supporters saw a team endeavouring to win that game.”
Hughton believes Tim Sherwood has the resources to maintain a top four Premier League push alongside chasing continental glory after the Spurs’ boss made numerous changes for the midweek Europa League 1-0 defeat against Ukrainian club Dnipro.
“I think they are contenders (for the top four) because of the squad they have got. They have a lot of depth,” said Hughton. “The downside for them is they are up against a resurgent Everton and Liverpool, which adds to the possible teams who can genuinely finish in that top four, but they are genuine contenders. I think they made five or six changes from their last league game at Newcastle for the European tie. I watched the game (on television) and it could have gone either way. Unfortunately for Tottenham it went against them but I fully expect them to make some more changes.”
Hughton worked with Sherwood at Tottenham and the former Norwich midfielder’s rapid rise through the managerial ranks is no great surprise.
“Tim has gone in and taken over a top quality team. Time will tell how successful he is,” said Hughton. “He was there as a player when I was a coach and he has certainly started well as a manager with a talented squad. When he first arrived from Blackburn you could tell he was a leader and very much captain material. He was always someone I felt would stay in the game and even back then I found him to be someone who was always interested in the game and wanted to learn more about it.”