Norwich City chief Chris Hughton is a relieved manager after late Premier League win over Hull City
18:08 18 January 2014
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Chris Hughton admitted he feared Norwich City’s late Carrow Road winner to beat Hull City in the Premier League would never come.
The Canaries looked to have run out of ideas after a spirited display against the Tigers until Ryan Bennett leapt above Alex Bruce and Leroy Rosenior to despatch Robert Snodgrass’ 87th minute corner. Norwich’s first win in nine games came as a major relief for the under-pressure Hughton after guding his side into 12th place - five points clear of the bottom three.
“I was concerned. There is a part of you that does think it won’t come,” he said. “We showed great resilience to keep going because I don’t think there was any doubt we deserved to win the game. We knew this was a big game and there was no point getting away from that but I actually felt there was more tension before the game. During the game the supporters were excellent. It has been a difficult time and we know we haven’t got the results we wanted. We knew it would just take one goal and one win to lift everybody and I was delighted for the supporters because they stayed with the team and they could see a group of lads who were trying to have a go.
“We want to be looking upwards in the table and not over our shoulders. I said it in the programme notes that a win would put us on the same number of points as Hull and it proves just how tight it is. We have to keep putting in performances and hopefully we get a few more breaks along the way, perhaps like we did in this game.
“We are talking about small margins and big wins. These three points become even bigger. You are then looking at the results of other sides, which is something you shouldn’t do, really. The tighter it gets, the wins get bigger. These are big wins. We will enjoy it today as we have a big game coming up (against Newcastle).”
Hughton was full of praise for match-winner Bennett who has stepped into the side with Michael Turner ruled out with a hamstring injury.
“It capped a very good performance from him. Overall, he’s done well Ryan when he’s come in,” he said. “He’s been in and out of the side so it’s difficult for him, but when he’s come in he’s applied himself very well so I’m pleased for him also.”
Hull boss Steve Bruce was left to rue an early chance for new signing Nikica Jelavic which struck the bottom of John Ruddy’s right-hand post inside the opening five minutes.
“We had a big chance in the first couple of minutes when Jelavic hit the post and Liam Rosenior has a really big chance but overall in the second half we were a touch disappointed with how we handled the ball,” said Bruce. “He (Jelavic) has done everything right, his connection with it was right, he struck it really well and I was expecting it to nestle in the back of the net. It has hit the post and missed by two inches, what a start that would have been for the lad. When you play like that away form home and come away with a point it would have been terrific for us, another point on the board - but it wasn’t to be.”