Chris Hughton aims to feel the good vibrations in Premier League test at West Ham
07:30 11 February 2014
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Chris Hughton wants to cash in on the good vibes from a heartening tussle against Manchester City when they bid to end West Ham’s winning Premier League run on Tuesday night at Upton Park.
The Hammers have beaten Swansea and Aston Villa as well as drawn at Chelsea in their last three league outings but Norwich will travel buoyed by the manner of their spirited display against the title-challenging Blues at Carrow Road.
“I really feel we are in a better place as a squad after that game in terms of belief,” said Hughton. “The feeling in the changing room at the end was a little bit mixed. There is no doubt given how good Manchester City is and the results they have picked up it was a good point, but it was tinged with a little bit of disappointment because we finished the game so strongly. It was a real spirited performance. We have to show that away from home, but we have done in recent months at Stoke and West Brom and a draw at Sunderland, so our away form has improved and we will need a lot of that in this game because West Ham is in good form. We will certainly have to show all that resilience again because they are on the back of a couple of wins. They have got the lift they needed and it is always a difficult place.”
Norwich play the majority of their direct rivals over coming weeks and Hughton accepts there is an added edge to those contests with so much at stake.
“We can speak about six pointers, but the reality is it is three points,” he said. “It is a bigger game, because it is against one of the teams who are around us in the table, and we are conscious of that. This part of the season will be full of these games, and not just for us, but the teams around us. They take on an added value and we have quite a few over these next few months.
“It would be a lie to say we were not looking at the other results. Once you get back into the changing room you are very keen to find out what the other results are, but that is not our main priority. We just have to make sure we get the points that we need.”
Hughton revealed yesterday Robert Snodgrass is still a doubt for the game at Upton Park after missing the weekend home draw. Ryan Bennett (thigh) and Jonas Gutierrez (calf) miss out with the Argentine set to be sidelined until the start of next month.
“With Jonas we are looking at about two or three weeks,” said Hughton. “It is not as bad as we first feared it might be and when you injure a calf it is always about the scale of the damage. We have a chance with Robert. He will have a fitness test before the game if we get to that stage with him, but he is looking a bit more promising.”
Wes Hoolahan will also be in the squad with Hughton downplaying reports over the weekend of potential loan interest from Championship trio Reading, Nottingham Forest and QPR. Fellow midfielder Jonny Howson is set to return to training next week after a long term lay-off with a back problem.
“I have seen those reports about Wes but I haven’t been told of any interest,” said Hughton. “What he has done is knuckle down, train hard and he is very much back in our plans. We are hopeful Jonny will train with the team next week, which is good news.”