Chris Hughton defends Norwich City’s Bradley Johnson after Alan Pardew says the midfielder should be ‘ashamed’ after double sending off
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Chris Hughton hit back at Alan Pardew’s claims Norwich City midfielder Bradley Johnson should be ‘ashamed’ of his actions in a double sending off that marred Tuesday’s 0-0 Premier League draw at Carrow Road.
Loic Remy was dismissed for an apparent head butt gesture towards Johnson which Pardew claimed afterwards had been exaggerated by the Canaries’ midfielder, who also saw red for an initial shove into the French striker’s chest. Hughton labelled Johnson’s exit ‘incredibly harsh’ and disputed Magpies’ chief Pardew’s version of events.
“I think if you look at Bradley Johnson’s actions he hasn’t gone down on the floor,” he said. “Sometimes you see reactions when they are rolling around. All he has done is pull his head away. As regards the amount of contact I can’t comment on that but Bradley Johnson is not the type of player who would look to get someone sent off. My gut feeling is we will appeal but you have to look at it again. We’ll look in the morning and make the right decisions.
“I had a very good view of the initial incident when Loic Remy moved his head in Bradley Johnson’s direction. I want to speak about Bradley’s sending off which I felt was incredibly harsh. I presumed when I saw him being sent off that something else had happened instead of what I saw, which was him push Loic Remy in the chest. I don’t believe that was an overly aggressive act. There was some aggression but apparently that was what he was sent off for. I don’t think he would have been if the Newcastle player had been.”
Pardew was in no doubt Johnson’s actions had contributed to Remy’s red card.
“That is the thing the game will be remembered for because it shouldn’t. We had some outstanding chances,” he said. “We were good all over and I am scratching my head how we have not won that. The incident at the end there was some pushing and shoving. They raised their hands and the heads have come together. That is probably just enough for the referee to send them off but Johnson’s reaction to the heads meeting was the catalyst for them both getting sent off. It was his own fault. If he hadn’t done that maybe the referee would have taken a more lenient view. But he made such a drama out of it that he should be ashamed of himself in my opinion. Once he did that stupid reaction the crowd all went mad and the referee has no choice really.”
Hughton also defended Robert Snodgrass after the Scot was involved in a verbal spat with a section of the home support during the first half.
“I have been made aware of that incident and I will do my best to find out what happened there but there is always a lot of passion and Robert is a passionate individual,” said Hughton. “He is a hard-working player. In all honesty it is my responsibility to find out the full facts but Robert is always involved in the thick of things.”
Wes Hoolahan was left out of City squad after a build up dominated by his future but Hughton insisted the club’s tough stance had not changed regarding the Irishman ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline day. City rejected Hoolahan’s transfer request last week following an initial enquiry from Aston Villa.
“It was my decision,” said Hughton. “We are all clear what the facts are. There was a bid and a transfer request and we turned both down. I’ve involved him in two previous games but felt it was something that might affect this game and could be on Wes’ mind. The facts are no different. There has been no change.”
Hughton accepted his side had been off the pace in the opening period against a slick Newcastle.
“They were sharper and better on the ball than us in the first half,” he said. “We have to be honest enough to say we didn’t play particularly well in the first half. Newcastle were sharper, more aggressive and better on the ball. I was probably delighted to come in at half-time 0-0 and we got to grips with it better in the second period and had a great chance at the end with Robert’s header. We addressed it, and managed to get ourselves into positions, even if we didn’t create as much as we’d like to.”