March 9 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Chris Hughton could see Gus Poyet’s potential during their time together at Tottenham but the Norwich City boss aims to underline the difficulty of Premier League management on Saturday at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland’s midweek march into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup barely masks a wretched league run which has seen the Black Cats fail to win any of their last five games and badly in need of a festive upturn to avoid being cut adrift. Hughton was part of the coaching staff at White Hart Lane when the Uruguayan’s playing career was coming to an end and the Canaries’ boss predicted his accelerated rise through the managerial ranks.
“There was no surprise to me he went into coaching and management,” said Hughton. “I know him from the management and coaching circles of course but I actually knew him before when he was a player at Tottenham. He was a wonderful player, always very passionate about the game the way he played and his thoughts on it.
“I will look forward to seeing him. The biggest task for him going in to that club was to deal with a lot of new players in the summer brought in by the previous manager.
“His responsibility now will be to put his own stamp on the team and I am quite sure he will do that. hey are on the back of a very good win in midweek, albeit the cup not the league, but we are also in decent form ourselves and we are on the back of a very good away win at West Brom and a good performance, certainly second half, against Swansea, who are as good as anyone in the country at what they do. We are in decent form and we want it to continue.”
Hughton is untroubled by the potential uplift from Sunderland’s unexpected Capital One Cup extra-time victory over Chelsea.
“You don’t know if it is good or bad for us. They will say the right things in public and they will get a boost from being in the semi-finals of the League Cup and you have to say it was a wonderful achievement for them,” he said. “That is what Sunderland might say. We look at ourselves. We want to keep the momentum going and from our supporters’ point of view they will look at this as an opportunity to put in a performance and get the win we want. By the same token Sunderland’s fans will feel they are playing a team who have been in the same situation as them. I’m the manager of Norwich and my only concern is to focus on us and doing what we can to get a result.”
City’s obdurate defensive display at West Brom may again form the basis of a similar approach on Wearside, which places extra emphasis on the attacking instincts of key men like Nathan Redmond and Jonny Howson.
The Yorkshireman was rewarded for his consistent form with a new, improved Carrow Road contract earlier this week.
“I’m sure there was a period last season when he was not playing the majority of games and that would have been frustrating,” said Hughton. “It shows you how things can turn. He is now one of our most consistent players. The length of the contract is a statement from the club and from Jonny as well who feels he is at a club where he can have a great future. We want to try and secure what we have here at all levels and we felt this was the right time to do it.”