Norwich City boss Chris Hughton did not fear the axe ahead of Hull City Premier League win

Ryan Bennett wants Norwich City to reap the benefits of being a settled unit behind manager Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ryan Bennett wants Norwich City to reap the benefits of being a settled unit behind manager Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, January 20, 2014
7:30 AM

Chris Hughton was adamant his Norwich City job did not hinge on beating Hull City.

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"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."

Chris Hughton

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.”

20 comments

  • Another scrambled result papering over the cracks does not disguise the underlying fact that under Hughton we will continue to play the most dull football I have seen since my first game in 1969. Yes, even worse than under Worthy.

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    jigs69

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Its not over yet Chris. Dont give the big I am speeches before were out of danger. The pressure will always be there. Go out and lose the next game and your back the square one. Thats the nature of the situation were in. Adele was warming up for her big performance before Ryan Bennett scored (and won me money on 1st goal scorer ;) lol).

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Not only clueless, stubborn and ignorant, but arrogant too, in the aftermath of another scrape a win by one goal at home to another very poor side, in yet another boring slog. I want the best for the team I love and have supported for more years than I want to tell you about, and the best in this case is for Hughton and his supposed football coaches and go away and leave us. I am not able to come up with the definitive answer as to who would best replace them, but look at the clubs that have changed manager ( Sherwood, Pulis, Poyet etc) and what they all seem to be achieving. Only Fulham seem not to have improved under new management, and lets face it, we could not do any worse than ridding our club of these incompetents, I think even Joe Pasquale could do a better job..

    Report this comment

    oldtimer

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Ha, glad my Adele reference wasnt wasted Mad. Wondered if anyone would pick up on it. The in ground bookies is utterly shocking! Comment on it every game. Coral had Turner & Bassong (annoyingly even though we know Turner wouldnt play) at 501 yet the in ground bookies had my bet of Ryan Bennett to score first at 251! grrrrr either way 2nd win ive had in ground betting all season on 1st goal scorer. Had plenty of score guesses come in this season with predictable Chris lol.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • No prob, Mattias. Though, I confess, it took a little while for the penny to drop. Congratulations on avoiding a banal reference to a large lady, eg the one who did the `Barcelona` duet with Freddy Mercury; Montserrat Caballé, the Mama Cass of opera. In our first recent season in the Prem I made about £100 profit on the season`s regular bet. Last season down £55. This season down £68 and still dropping like a stone. Keep up the obscurantist references - good exercise for the `leetle grey cells`, mon ami!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • I see that Swansea are 3 places and 2 points below Norwich, Laudrup out!

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    PaulWho

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • I have this semi-fixed bet, Mattias. A `double` linking the first goalscorer with a certain result, then a stand-alone `last goalscorer` wager. In Lambo`s last season there were some nice little earners. Alas, this year, Nix! But, you never know! Lack of Norwich goals is the basic weakness in my rigid bet. As it stands, we`ll hardly pass the 30 mark. Goals against? We still have return fixtures vs ManC, Liverpool, Ar$enal and Chelsea. Ouch! Not so worried about ManU just now. But there`s Fulham, too......

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Poor Adele! She`s a bonny lass! Otherwise, spot on, Mattias. In 22 league games, I am yet to get a return on my regular bet other than when my nominated last goalscorer didn`t play. So stake returned! PaulWho, I think Swansea are suffering for overstretching themselves in that awful European TinPot Trophy - as Wigan did last season in the Sweet FA Cup. I saw, on MOTD, Hoots doing the "yap, yap, yap" hand gesture at somebody or other. Dissenting, peripheral outsiders? Aka Fans.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Normally I wouldnt care how we win, as long as we do WIN! But like previously mentioned we all know how this works. We win the must win one (in unconvincing stardards) and then go on to draw and lose the next 5. If we go on some kind of magical run then happy days but I see no evidence to point to that happening.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • A double edged sword if ever ther was one. A win and three points (and yes I did jump up and cheer when w finally scored). The problem is that it moves us up to 12th and that makes it look as though we are moving in the right direction, but to the happy clappers, have you forgotten the no wins in eight, or the style of play we have under this regime? That was a win scraped against a very ordinary Hull side, and it only papers over the cracks of the bigger issue. We still cannot supply our forwards with clear cut opportunities, still substitute like for like late on, still play with cack handed wingers and worst of all.....we still have Hughton, Calderwood and Trollope

    Report this comment

    oldtimer

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Ha, glad my Adele reference wasnt wasted Mad. Wondered if anyone would pick up on it. The in ground bookies is utterly shocking! Comment on it every game. Coral had Turner & Bassong (annoyingly even though we know Turner wouldnt play) at 501 yet the in ground bookies had my bet of Ryan Bennett to score first at 251! grrrrr either way 2nd win ive had in ground betting all season on 1st goal scorer. Had plenty of score guesses come in this season with predictable Chris lol.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Ill give Hughton Credit. When he first arrived we were defensively sound an just couldn't score. I made sooooo much on "no goalscorer" bets until the bookies got wise to it and slashed the odds. Away games are my usual favourite now with score guesses oddly. Bank on the usual no show and white wash and I haven't gone far wrong.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Inadequate AND arrogant, frightening combination.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • While I cannot see that he will be axed, I am not convinced by him at all.Never have been and doubt I will be, but have to make room for that in case. I have lost count of the times we have been here, getting a result on a supposed win game, in my eyes every home game is a must win. 2 step forwards followed by 5 back. I am not saying we have turned a corner, until we have turned the darn thing. Been too many false hopes... But not fearing the axe is kind of arrogant. but knowing he will get a handshake of the golden type.. I doubt many of us would be too scared....Only we would have ride in who we were managing

    Report this comment

    Goldie Boy

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • If Chris Hughton didnt know that the sword of Damocles was hanging over him last Saturday, then he was in a parallel universe of some sort. The thing that CH has to worry about is that even the best of cats have only 9 lives, and I calculate he must have gone through 6 or 7 of his this season. OK, we survived again, and instead of being 17th, we stand at 12th. Mid table. Hughton can continue, even flourish if he can put some points on the chart, and 3 have we have 3 winnable games in front of us. The problem is, that unless something radical happens, we will be fortunate to take 4 of those 9 points unless our form drastically improves. We need an attacking coach to sort out our play in that final 3rd. We have 2 expensive, but misfiring strikers whose form has suffered due to a consistent lack of service. So CH, cut out the bullish statements that neither kid or impress anybody. The way to win the hearts, trust and respect of the Norwich fans is with results, not rhetoric. Nothing else will do.Otherwise lives 8 and 9 will be in distinct peril!!

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • I'd have him at Norwich over Hughton anyday. We have players who fit his style unlike hughtons style. Just imagine how we'd play in Laudrup style with players like Wes, Fer, RVW, Hooper, Redmond......Oh well I can dream!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Yes I agree with CH in that we were the best team; nonetheless we need to find a way of getting the best out of Hooper, RVW, and even Becchio if he is now part of CH's plans.

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Extremely good point Mad. Unless Hughton can re-discover his defensively sound approach from the 1st half of last season our goals against tally is going to take a battering! Plenty of "to lose by 3 or more goals" bets on the horizon I fear.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Yikes, so he does read our posts. OMG, as in omnipotent money grabber

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Hughton doesn't fear the axe because he doesn't care enough about this great Club! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Powers1902

    Monday, January 20, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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