Chris Hughton puts Premier League survival on hold ahead of Fulham FA Cup tie
07:18 14 January 2014
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Chris Hughton is urging Norwich City to finish the job against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The Canaries’ boss felt his side should have progressed at the first attempt after dominating the original tie, which finished 1-1, but Hughton expects Fulham to respond following a weekend Premier League defeat to Sunderland.
“If we were in their position I know we would look to recover,” he said. “Our responsibility after a spirited finish to the Everton game is to take those positives into this cup tie. We felt we should have finished the game off at Carrow Road and, irrespective of the competition, to win would give us a lift. The morale here is still good but we are very conscious of how competitive the Premier League is and this could give us a boost. I would have preferred to be in the next round but this is the next best thing and I would much rather still be in the FA Cup.
“We know Sheffield United await but we found to our detriment last season it is not always the fancied team who go through so I wouldn’t see an away tie at Sheffield United as anything but a difficult game, but we need to focus on making sure we put ourselves in a position to get through.”
Hughton has pledged to use his squad again after making serial changes for the Carrow Road tie, but the likes of Michael Turner (hamstring) and Jonny Howson (back) will miss out and the game comes too soon for Alex Tettey and Anthony Pilkington, who returned to training over the past few days.
“They have both trained for the last three days and the decision we have to make now is whether they have done enough to be ready for Hull,” said Hughton. “They have had a good rehab but it is now about getting them ready for matches. Someone like Alex has been out for quite a while.
“We haven’t picked up any fresh injuries from the Everton game but Michael and Jonny will not be involved. It is a frustrating one with Jonny. We are still waiting for his back to settle down and it hasn’t done and I expect him to be out for a period of time and Michael has a significant hamstring pull, so that is a matter of weeks.”
David Fox and Josh Murphy impressed in the original FA Cup tie and Hughton is mindful of a crucial Premier League test against Hull this weekend.
“At the moment Fulham is a game I want to win and that is my main priority, but I am conscious we have a very big game at Carrow Road on Saturday, and that is only three days after Fulham,” he said. “There is no doubt the biggest thing for us is to make sure we do well in this Premier League. That doesn’t take away from the fact a win at Fulham can give us some more confidence and give us a lift.
“Josh is certainly in the squad and I thought he was excellent in the first game. He is a young lad who is maturing well. Fulham would have done their research for the first game but they will definitely know him a little bit better.”