Norwich City’s brittle confidence on the road is a concern for Chris Hughton
13:06 31 March 2014
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Norwich City look shot away from the secure confines of their Carrow Road fortress and Chris Hughton concedes finding the solution seems an elusive task.
Hughton opted to keep faith with the men who swept aside Sunderland at home before he was forced to make a double change at the interval to try and rescue another lost cause following Jonathan de Guzman’s brace to put the hosts in charge.
“The game is about confidence and yes there is no doubt a lack of confidence comes into it and perhaps there is a nervousness away from home,” he said. “There is no doubt at home we have been very good of late and very solid and away we haven’t. We went into the game on the back of a good performance and a good feel after the previous weekend. There was no reason to come into this game and not feel confident. It is not something we expected, but they were far better than us and the scoreline was a fair reflection.
“It is incredibly disappointing. We didn’t deserve anything and apart from a spell in the second half when Robert Snodgrass had a shot that was fabulously cleared off the line we were second best.”
Hughton opted to focus on Norwich’s inability to retain possession rather than the way he set his side up as a factor in their downfall at the Liberty Stadium.
“We came with a formation that said we wanted to get something but you are reliant on keeping the ball well against a side like Swansea,” he said. “You have to keep the ball well, work the areas you want and we never kept it well enough. If that is the case then you can not afford to present them with good opportunities to score. They are too good a side not to take them. We have found it very difficult to get that right formula. It is something we are continually trying to address and get the solution in different ways, but we have found it very difficult. We have chopped and changed and I felt we came here with a positive line-up and off the back of a really good performance so we decided to go the same way. ”
Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Johan Elmander endured another blank in the Premier League in a two-pronged attack before Gary Hooper was introduced for the final quarter of the game.
“I wanted to come here with a positive team that had two up front to gives us an outlet because Ricky and Johan can run beyond and tuck in and with Wes (Hoolahan) in a narrow role he could get on the ball and create,” said Hughton. “I decided to go with that team because I thought it could be offensive-looking and show we wanted something, but the players have to provide that.”