Chris Hughton relishes the challenge of a Premier League survival fight
07:30 22 March 2014
Chris Hughton insists it is possible to enjoy the task of leading Norwich City’s Premier League survival bid.
Hughton’s Carrow Road future has been a hot topic for most of a season which sees them locked in another relegation battle ahead of Saturday’s crunch test against Sunderland. The City chief was forced to deny reports he will leave in the summer whether or not he repeats the success of his debut campaign and Hughton remains confident he is still the right man to secure another year of top flight football for the club in what is shaping up to be the tightest struggle to beat the drop for years.
“As a manager you have to try and enjoy this challenge,” he said. “It is a tough and everybody is fighting like mad. We have found it difficult to get that consistency in our results. That is affected by a number of things and one of those is the injuries. Jonny Howson was playing as well as he had done and gets injured and misses a chunk of the season. The same with Leroy Fer and Michael Turner. You have to be adaptable and that is why you want a decent level of competition in the squad. You almost don’t want to have that starting XI in your mind because you need everyone pushing for a place.”
Hughton knows what is at stake against a Sunderland side four points adrift but with three games in hand on the Canaries, although the Norwich boss has reiterated they must strive to pick up points against the big hitters as well as their direct rivals.
“There has been a fair amount made of the last four games we have to face,” he said. “We have to look at the season as a whole and that means eight games as opposed to four and four. There is no feeling here that it is about these next four games only - not from myself or the players.”