December 8 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Chris Hughton insists League Cup success can have a positive impact on the club’s Premier League quest after City eased past Scunthorpe 2-1 in last night’s Capital One Cup second round tie at Carrow Road.
Simon Lappin’s first half wonder strike was cancelled out by an even better effort from Scunthorpe’s Mark Duffy just two minutes later, but captain Wes Hoolahan struck a cool second half penalty to book the club’s place in the next round.
Hughton fielded an entirely different cup line-up from the weekend Premier League draw against QPR to run the rule over some of his fringe men.
The City chief knows from first-hand experience the additional benefits of knockout success after guiding his previous club Birmingham on a Europa League adventure this time last season.
“For me looking back it was definitely a benefit to have a run in the Europa competition,” he said.
“There is always a criticism you can undervalue a competition when you change a team. I look at it a different way. It is a real opportunity to keep the competition going among the players. It is tough when you have good players not getting regular football. What the cup allows you to do is manoeuvre your squad, to give the ones pushing who have not been involved on a Saturday. It also gives me food for thought. I regard it as an important competition.”
Striker Chris Martin was one of the back-up men given a 90-minute chance to impress last night against the Iron. The 23-year-old believes the competition for places within Hughton’s squad dictates you have to make the most of every opportunity.
“All I can do is take every chance that comes my way and let the manager make the decision after that,” he said. “If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. If it does, it’s a bonus. Nothing really changes from my point of view. I’ve just got to go out there and play my best in every single game. If that’s good enough then brilliant. I think I have a one-in-three scoring record for Norwich so if that continues I’ll be happy.
“The manager here is giving everyone a chance. There is no one who has been banished to the reserves or the youth team or anything like that. He’s told us it’s all going to be fair and everyone’s going to get a shot at it. That’s all you can ask for. After that, the job’s down to you and whether you can be good enough for him and whether you’re what he’s looking for. From that point of view, it’s been good.”
City will find out their round three opponents tomorrow and Hughton feels the League Cup is a competition clubs in Norwich’s bracket can target. The Canaries’ boss enjoyed a healthy cup pedigree as a player with two FA Cup winners’ medals and Uefa Cup success during his time at Tottenham, along with reaching a Wembley final of the less fashionable League Cup.
“It has always been the second cup competition. Does it have the magic of the FA Cup? No it doesn’t but it never has done. It is a competition that everybody still wants to win,” he said. “In this day and age with club finances dictating a lot if you look at those competing for league and champions league honours it is really limited. There are a lot of teams who only probably have two options to win something – either the FA or the League Cup. That will never change and neither should the desire to want to win and make progress.”