Norwich City manager Chris Hughton is still confident of repeating his Premier League survival challenge
10:05 16 January 2014
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Chris Hughton insists he is the man to lead Norwich City to Premier League safety this season.
City chief executive David McNally yesterday reiterated avoiding relegation is imperative and Hughton knows the stakes could not be any higher ahead of Hull City’s Carrow Road visit on Saturday.
Norwich’s FA Cup exit at Fulham extended their winless run to eight matches, but the City boss believes he had to survive an even more testing spell towards the end of last season’s fraught survival battle.
“It is a tough period. I wouldn’t say it is my toughest since coming here,” he said.
“You have to remember we finished in 11th place last season but with three games to go we were one of seven or eight teams who could have gone down. We have had tough periods and you have to come out of them stronger. We have no choice but to dust ourselves down and get ready for Hull. It was a massive disappointment to go out of the cup and the only thing on my mind was that feeling.
“We had a support who travelled a long way and who saw a team that was not good enough. Now we have a huge game at the weekend and all my thoughts are on planning for that one.”
Hughton is bearing the brunt of the fans’ anger but the Norwich manager refuses to single out any of his players for blame.
“I wouldn’t put it down to individuals,” he said. “We need to improve at both ends of the pitch. On the balance of the (Fulham) game we played some nice stuff but it has to be more productive than we are showing at the moment. We are conceding poor goals and we don’t look like we can score.
“We could not have started the game more lively. We had one good chance and one half chance in that first period and Fulham probably scored on their first major attack.
“We are getting into good areas of the pitch. Some of our football has been good and we had spells of the game when we had decent control so it wasn’t one-way traffic. I didn’t think Fulham absolutely dominated possession.”