Chris Hughton - Norwich City squander a priceless Premier League win against Stoke City
18:00 08 March 2014
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Chris Hughton admitted Norwich City blew two precious Premier League points after being pegged back by ten-man Stoke City in a 1-1 Carrow Road draw.
Bradley Johnson’s second half header was cancelled out by Jonathan Walters’ cool penalty after Seb Bassong rashly brought down John Guidetti. Walters however was dismissed for a studs up challenge on Alex Tettey five minutes later but the hosts never looked like making their numerical advantage count for the remaining 17 minutes.
Norwich’s point kept them four points clear of the bottom three but Hughton accepted it was a major missed opportunity.
“The frustration comes from not seeing out the game,” he said. “The penalty was soft. It was a ball I didn’t think Seb needed to go for. On other occasions a different referee might not have given it but we allowed ourselves to get in that position. We were 1-0 up in a game that wasn’t a classic against quite a direct Stoke side who offer that physicality up front and the disappointment was it came in the period when we were more comfortable. I thought they gave us some problems in the first half but we had come through that. It definitely feels like two points dropped.
“I had no issues with the sending off. He is certainly high. They both went for the ball but Walters was higher than Alex and he certainly caught him. It is one that most referees would have given, but I think the lad is okay. He is sore from where he was caught but there are no problems. Sometimes you are pleased when you see a team go down to 10 but there is arguably no-one better than Stoke at dealing with getting men behind the ball. The only way you felt it might come was a good strike from outside the box or getting behind the full-backs. Generally anything lofted into the box is not going to bring success and we didn’t really make any inroads against 10 men.”