Chris Hughton accepts the angry reaction of Norwich City’s support following 4-2 Premier League defeat at Southampton but denies reports he is set to leave in the summer
18:17 15 March 2014
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Chris Hughton admitted he could understand the angry reaction of Norwich City’s travelling support who vented their frustration towards him during the 4-2 Premier League defeat at Southampton.
The City chief woke to a report he will be out of a job in the summer whether or not he keeps the club in the top flight and then saw Southampton over-power his side at St Mary’s, with Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez on the mark before Johan Elmander and Robert Snodgrass struck within a minute to set up an improbable grandstand finish.
Sam Gallagher’s stoppage time fourth ended any hopes of an unlikely comeback from the visitors who remain four points clear of the bottom three despite wins for West Brom and Fulham and a goalless draw between Sunderland and Crystal Palace.
“It is never nice to hear the fans venting their anger at you but I understand,” said Hughton. “We had more than 2,000 here and it is their club, their team and they want to see a Norwich team who are really competing and competitive in the game and what they saw for too long a period was a Southampton team who were better than us. It is not nice to hear on a personal level but you have to take it on the chin and strive to be better and respond in the next game.
“A very good Southampton team were better than us for the majority of the game. If you concede goals like we did it makes life difficult for yourselves. Credit to our lads they showed character and spirit to get the two goals back at the end and obviously made it a tighter scoreline but they were better than us. They deserved the points they got.”
Hughton used his post-match press conference to insist there was no substance in a report that surfaced on Saturday morning claiming he had accepted his time at Carrow Road is drawing to a close. Hughton has one-year left on his existing deal but chief executive David McNally confirmed recently contract talks regarding the club’s staff will only happen in the summer after the conclusion of the current Premier League campaign.
“When I hear a report like that the first thing I want to ask is, ‘Who exactly has said that?’ It hasn’t come from me and certainly from anyone associated to me,” he said. “There is absolutely no substance in that at all. I am surprised and possibly these sort of things come out because we are in a difficult period. I can only reiterate it is story with no substance to it and I am disappointed it has come out and I have to deal with it.”