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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

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

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.

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