Chris Hughton left seething at Norwich City’s ‘inexcusable’ 3-0 Premier League Swansea City loss
07:15 31 March 2014
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Norwich City’s players do not have exclusive rights on frustration after Chris Hughton revealed his anger at another feeble top flight away outing.
Hughton’s response to a desperate first half at the Liberty Stadium was a double midfield change, but the City chief admitted he wanted to perform major surgery in a forlorn bid to avoid a sixth consecutive Premier League away defeat.
City’s players indulged in verbal spats between both themselves and towards the officials at times during a fractious afternoon, with Hughton making little attempt to disguise his own anger at the opening 45 minutes from his side.
“Yes (I was angry). You are always trying to keep composed because you want to stay focused and think clearly to try and change the game at half-time in our favour but we were so far short of what is required at this level that we never gave ourselves a chance in that first half,” he said. “There were absolutely no excuses for the performance, especially the first half.
“Probably at that stage if I could have I would have made three changes, but the last thing you want is to have a man sent off or an injury and you have no options to change it. If we play that poorly and Swansea don’t get the goals in the first half you think you have got away with it and you can do something about it, but at 2-0 it changes and you have to open up and you can then get punished even more. In a first half where we weren’t good I had to make some changes. With Jonas (Gutierrez) he is a different player out wide to Wes (Hoolahan) and Bradley (Johnson) is someone who has been playing and he could try to shore up that midfield.”
Hughton had no problem with his players carrying out their own inquests on the field. Alex Tettey was also lectured for back chat towards referee Jonathan Moss after the interval on a frustrating afternoon for the men in yellow and green.
“That is what happens on a football pitch,” said Hughton. “It shows they are not happy with the performance. None of us are. If they have something to say I would rather they said it to each other. It is heat of the moment stuff. You can look at it the other way and say it shows passion but you get those instances during games. They want to do well, want to work hard and be in a better position but we have to do it on the football pitch. We have to close this down and look to the next game.”
Joseph Yobo’s absence with a minor calf injury contributed to another fragile away display in front of John Ruddy but the Nigerian international is expected to be in contention for West Brom’s visit this weekend.
“He felt his calf early in the week but it was very slight so we are hopeful he will be ready,” said Hughton. “They just looked brighter and sharper on the ball. We conceded poor goals, one in particular from a ball we gave away. You know you are up against a team who will have more possession than you, but it was also a team who showed in the final third they had the quality and the clinical edge to cause us problems.”