March 15 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Chris Hughton is in the business of construction not destruction ahead of the upcoming January transfer window after both Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington were touted with Norwich City exits.
Hughton denied reports linking Hoolahan with a potential switch to Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa after making his fourth start of the season in the 1-0 weekend defeat to Manchester United. Hoolahan’s Republic of Ireland international colleague Pilkington was recently linked with both Villa and Premier League Swansea City, but Hughton is paying little attention to fevered speculation with the window officially open for business on Thursday.
“I don’t know anything about those reports,” said Hughton. “The talk normally around this time is of players coming in and that generally is all we are interested in. You can never anticipate what deals happen in a window but our focus is on decisions we need to make regarding players coming in, certainly not going out. I expect to be busy with phone calls and watching plenty of DVDs, but we will only do anything if it’s right or within our structure. It’s making sure we cover all bases. If it is right for us in any position of the squad to strengthen to secure ourselves going into the end of the season, we will do, but we won’t bring players in for the sake of it and those are the assessments we make.”
City have moved to secure many of their top performers on longer term deals this season and Hughton is well aware Pilkington does not fall into that bracket.
“With Anthony it’s been a difficult period for him this season where he’s missed games and periods through injuries, but he is still a player we very much value and has served us very well,” said Hughton. “When he’s on the pitch and in good form, up to speed with the injuries, he’s a very good player. So that’s one situation we’re very much conscious of. We continually assess all the players that here in terms of their contracts and we’ll make what we feel are the right decisions.”