Norwich City’s lack of yellow cards not an issue for Chris Hughton

Jonny Howson picked up Norwich City's first yellow card of the season after this foul on Newcastle's Cheick Tioté. Jonny Howson picked up Norwich City's first yellow card of the season after this foul on Newcastle's Cheick Tioté.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
11:07 AM

Chris Hughton is adamant Norwich City possess a mean streak to survive in the Premier League.

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The Canaries’ healthy disciplinary record this season is in stark contrast to their position in the early standings after a testing start to the new top flight campaign.

City’s weekend defeat at Chelsea was the fifth Premier League game where they have avoided any bookings – leaving Jonny Howson and Leon Barnett as the only men to incur the wrath of the match officials to date. The likes of potential league rivals Wigan and QPR are both in double figures already on the crime count, but Hughton insists accusations his men have proved to be a soft touch are well wide of the mark.

“Are we competitive enough? Yes, we are. If you’re looking at the nature of the players we have, we have players that can look after themselves,” he said. “I think that’s probably just a coincidence.

“Against Chelsea, with what they’ve got and the movement they’ve got, you look at the priorities.

“The priorities are more to try to cover the holes because if you’re trying to challenge somebody and they’re bouncing that ball around you and utilising the spaces they’ve got it is a problem. You look at any team that plays against them, you try to cover the holes so they can’t find the spaces. That’s more important than looking not to give fouls away.”

Norwegian international Alex Tettey earned his first Premier League start for the club in a midfield that also featured Howson and Bradley Johnson – the latter a touch fortunate not to receive a yellow card for a second half skirmish that felled both David Luiz and Jon Obi Mikel.

“If you look at the way we set the team up, which was a back four, a middle four and Wes (Hoolahan) playing in advanced midfield position, we set ourselves up to try to be as solid as we can,” said Hughton.

“What you can’t stop them doing, because they have such good rotation with the front three, is getting the ball. What you have to do is stop them getting close to the goal, and I thought in a first half period, for a team away from home, we restricted their chances. Unfortunately we didn’t defend well enough on the goals and that will be the case for a lot of teams that go there.”

Hughton plans to make the very most of the fortnight’s international break for the majority of his squad to prepare for Arsenal’s Premier League visit to Carrow Road.

“I hope it has come at a good time because it gives us an opportunity to work with some of the players. We will of course lose some as well but in that respect it is a positive,” he said. “Defeats are hurting everybody. At the moment we’re going through a difficult period - but so are other clubs. We’re not out on a limb.

“For clubs like ours, the season is always about making sure we retain Premier League status. That was no different at the start of the season from where we are now, which is seven games in with an awful lot of football to be played.”

• FAIR PLAY TABLE

(yellow/red cards, points in brackets)

Norwich City 2/0 (2)

Fulham 4/0 (4)

Arsenal 6/0 (6)

Manchester City 6/0 (6)

Reading 7/0 (7)

Tottenham 6/1 (8)

Sunderland 8/0 (8)

Southampton 8/0 (8)

WBA 8/1 (10)

Manchester Utd 10/0 (10)

Chelsea 10/0 (10)

QPR 10/1 (12)

Liverpool 10/2 (14)

Wigan Athletic 12/1 (14)

Newcastle Utd 14/0 (14)

Everton 14/0 (14)

Swansea City 12/2 (16)

Stoke City 15/1 (17)

Aston Villa 16/1 (18)

West Ham 18/0 (18)

16 comments

  • tunsteadtiger

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Nice picture of De Leat celebrating Holts goal against Chelsea in the digital publication on page 2. Form last season. Maybe somebody should have checked before printing it?

    Report this comment

    tunsteadtiger

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Living all the way down here in Adelaide from the games i have seen, I agree with Mad Brewer A B C, they are the important points Hypothetically it wouldnt matter if we let 5 in every game as long as we scored 6 in reply. Acknowledging Holts fine goal against Chelsea, we just do not know what to do about scoring, This has to change, there needs to be more fire in City's play with a hunger to score, neither of these are there at present, unfortunately.

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • As hard as one tries not to be a doom & gloom merchant, I`m sure an impartial but knowledgeable outsider would find much of what has happened baffling. If CH had a Ruder persona, would he currently be rated any higher than him as a manager? It is early days. Let us hope that the fire will be rekindled soon. Very soon, PDQ.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

  • We had 1 point more at this stage last season.. Give C.H. a fair crack of the whip before the 'OUT' boy's start. Were we in a state of panic in October last year? I don't think so...

    Report this comment

    Richard Bonham

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • OMG, TB badgerboy`s back. When does that cull commence? Hopefully it`s `proberly` soon. Back on subject, it`s come to a strange place when we`re more concerned about\interested in the lack of yellow cards than: A) the lack of goals, B) the lack of a defence, C) the lack of `fire`, D) some weird decisions (Vaughan, Ayala, Turner, Bunn, C. Martin). Hopefully, all will be revealed in due course. Fans will insist on it.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Not sure the International break is going to be long enough to teach the players to defend, pass to one another and get the odd shot on target during a game

    Report this comment

    andys

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • tunsteadtiger

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • It is very early in terms of the number of games played, to be calling for the manager to be sacked. However the dissatisfaction is increased by: 1. CH's strange transfer decisions ie Bunn, all the midfield players, no striker, give Vaughan away etc, 2. CH's timid tactics, apologetic press releases and what appears to be a lack of ambition to win matches, 3. CH's lack of good substitutions and 4. the manner of the defeats. It does not look good if the manager has an inferiority complex and starts infecting the players with the same lack of self belief. I hope he can get it right but I have not seen anything so far that suggests he has a clue.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • But the team was not solid defensively was it? I thought they defended too deep and the midfieldplayers instead of tracking back with their opposite numbers, were just standing in the penalty area confusing the defenders. When Lampard scored, there was nobody near him.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • and on the Bunn decision aren't Declan and Jed still not on loan.Seem to remember one of the reasons for signing Bunn was one of our young keepers going on loan for experience.if so loan one.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

  • Yes it is a sad state of affairs when people are now saying we need more yellow cards!!!!!! The only thing we are going to get from more yellow cards are suspensions and fines. What we need is more points on the table and given time i think this will be achieved. Stop moaning and be patient

    Report this comment

    NCFC98

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Proberly because hes not going to be there much longer..

    Report this comment

    billythebookie

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • i see mb's already done the into Europe via the fair play league. So i'll comment on CH and the paragraph where he says 'in the first half we restricted their chances' funny that I thought we were 3-1 down by half time. Leave it with you

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • CH needs a pack of tarot cards if we are to survive

    Report this comment

    andys

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Can we qualify for Europe thro` the Fair Play League? Is that the cunning plan?? Good to see Hoots is `adamant` rather than just boring old `insistent`.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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

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