Norwich City boss Chris Hughton did not fear the axe ahead of Hull City Premier League win
07:30 20 January 2014
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Chris Hughton was adamant his Norwich City job did not hinge on beating Hull City.
"How tough has it been for me? It is never nice when a lot of criticism comes your way. I know it is part and parcel and I realise that any criticism directed towards me or any debates about my job come with the territory."
The Canaries’ boss did concede he endured some of the most difficult days of his Carrow Road tenure after a midweek FA Cup defeat at Fulham before Ryan Bennett’s 87th minute winner eased the pressure on him and improved the club’s Premier League survival chances.
“It is a big win. I won’t deny that but I wasn’t looking at in that way,” he said. “I want to do the best job I can and with every manager there is a trust placed in that person to develop a group of players and do as well as you can. Any result we get is for the players, the club and the supporters.
“How tough has it been for me? It is never nice when a lot of criticism comes your way. I know it is part and parcel and I realise that any criticism directed towards me or any debates about my job come with the territory. The previous week it is someone else and maybe next week it will be another manager. The good part about this game, although it is tough, is you have another challenge. We were disappointing midweek but we didn’t have much time to ponder on that and let it affect us mentally because the next one comes around so quickly.”
Hughton remains confident in his own ability to guide the club towards a fourth consecutive season of Premier League football.
“I would like to think I can manage a football team and you have to put anything else to the back of your mind otherwise you can not focus properly,” he said. “You have to accept the emotions for what it is and enjoy the wins. I will continue to do that and we have a group who want to improve. I don’t think about my position. We are now in a far healthier position (in the league) and the lads have to build on that. My own role is not something I dwell on. My position has only been spoken about by outside influences.
“This season is no different to others. You have ups and downs, good and bad runs. On the back of a couple of really poor defeats we have managed to get wins and show great spirit and you just try to get more good days than bad.”
The Norwich boss praised the level of backing from the majority inside a tense Carrow Road.
“We knew this was a big game and I would have to say there was probably more tension before the game because I thought the supporters were excellent considering it has been a difficult time,” he said. “We haven’t got the results we wanted and we knew a goal and a win would lift the supporters and they were excellent. They stayed with the team and they could see the lads were having a go. At half-time that frustration could have crept into the crowd and they might have become impatient.
“It is so tight down there it is very difficult to talk about this having been a must-win. I know it is an important win because not only we were at home but it was against a team around us in the table. The magnitude was obvious and we all felt that.”
Hughton felt the hosts were worthy of Bennett’s late match-winning intervention.
“On the balance of the game I don’t think anybody would feel over the 90 minutes we were not the best team,” he said. “I was concerned the longer it went because there is a part of you that feels possibly it is not going to be our day. I thought the lads showed great resilience to get the victory.”