December 6 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists Paul Lambert’s latest return with Aston Villa this weekend is a sideshow to the main event.
Lambert sunk his former employers in league and cup battles at Carrow Road last season but both clubs approach the latest tussle looking to bounce back from fresh Premier League disappointments.
Villa have failed to pick up a point since beating Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day of the campaign whilst City serve up a below-par display at the Gunners’ north London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane last Saturday.
“I think it is very clear that when a previous manager returns there is generally a degree of extra interest,” said Lambert. “Paul will always be remembered for the job he did here. He won’t be forgotten for that but this is a game against Aston Villa, not Paul Lambert. It just so happens their manager is a previous manager here. We welcome Paul back here for the great job he did but its not about the managers. Its about two teams. “All three games were quite tight (last season) and if anything our best performance came at Villa Park. We should have won that day. Does the game have a little bit more meaning? It generally does in terms of perception on the outside, but we have a good home record. What I do know is we’ll be tested because they are a young, exciting side and they have good offensive options. Whether it is a good time to play them you can only judge that one at the end of the game. We’re on the back of a defeat at Tottenham, Villa have had some defeats but they had an excellent result at Arsenal on the opening day.”
Hughton has no fresh injury concerns with only Elliott Bennett (knee) ruled out as City look to respond to a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Tottenham.
“There are always lessons and we are not shy to say we were disappointed with our performance at Spurs but that is the beauty of this game,” he said. “We always have another opportunity. We have closed that one down now and had a good week on the training field. You analyse and you try to pick out the positives and for me we still restricted them to minimal clear chances. Although they had a lot of possession and a lot of shots from distance we arguably could have gone in level when Danny Rose made a good challenge on Ricky (van Wolfswinkel) when Spurs were far better than us.”