Manager Chris Hughton is today juggling the twin responsibilities of trying to strengthen his Norwich City squad on transfer deadline day and preparing for a Premier League visit to his second home.

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Manager Chris Hughton is today juggling the twin responsibilities of trying to strengthen his Norwich City squad on transfer deadline day and preparing for a Premier League visit to his second home.

The Canaries face Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow at White Hart Lane (3pm), where Hughton spent 13 years as a player and nearly 14 years on the coaching staff before stepping out into management in his own right.

It is his first return to Spurs as a manager, but there is the major distraction of the summer transfer window closing at 11pm tonight to be dealt with first. Whoever coined the phrase “Thank God it’s Friday” had not taken a football manager’s lot into account.

Brighton striker Craig Mackail-Smith is the latest name linked with City, who made a failed bid for the Scotland international’s services in March last year when former boss Paul Lambert tried to prise him away from Peterborough.

Hughton played a dead bat yesterday to questions on his possible interest in Mackail-Smith, but did not dismiss the link as he had with other reported targets.

He said: “There will always be speculation and rumours about numerous players and everything we do we try to do in the correct way, certainly behind the scenes.

“Anything that’s out in any domain is speculation and something we’ve learned to cope with and continue to cope with.”

Asked if he admired the Seagulls’ 28-year-old striker, he added: “There are a lot of players we admire and anybody we bring in has to be the right player for this football club.”

Hughton has signed eight players since taking over at Carrow Road in June – one goalkeeper, four defenders and three midfielders – but has yet to add to his strikers, while releasing James Vaughan on a season-long loan to Huddersfield. It is the last potential gap to be filled before he has to name his Premier League squad of a maximum 25, from which players under 21 are exempt but still able to play.

He said: “We’re trying to be as competitive as a squad as possible and that means if there’s anything that’s right for us and suits us, it’s something we’ll endeavour to do. But if it’s not right and it doesn’t happen, I’m delighted with the squad I’ve got.”

Meanwhile, Hughton must prepare City to face his old club, with both sides yet to register their first league victory of the season.

He said: “It’s my first return as a manager but I have been back and it is always a nice feeling. I spent more years there than I can remember.

“Really, apart from a two year period where I was away I spent nigh on 28 years there. That is a fair chunk of my life. My feelings will always be there for that club but it certainly doesn’t affect those going back there Saturday. I would like us to win and play very well. Spurs plays a big part in my family but I would be very disappointed if I had any members of my family who did not want me to win on Saturday.”

City won 2-1 at White Hart Lane on Easter Monday, their final away success under Lambert, and Hughton believes the 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers last Saturday has put his players in good heart to attempt another upset and wipe away the memory of a 5-0 defeat at Fulham on their last trip to the capital.

“I just hope as a team we can put on a performance that leads off from last week,” he said. “Our first game of the season we all know was not one of our best. We wanted to get that behind us and I was delighted with the performance against QPR and hope we can carry on from there.”

Winger Robert Snodgrass has shaken off an ankle knock and is fit, but midfielder Simon Lappin will be sidelined for “two or three weeks” by an ankle injury he suffered in the 2-1 Capital One Cup win over Scunthorpe.

Of the two latest signings, goalkeeper Mark Bunn will not travel so soon after completing his move from Blackburn, but Norway midfielder Alexander Tettey could be on the bench.

“He will be in the travelling squad,” said Hughton.

“He has settled in very well but there has been that little bit of a dip in training with the move from France. He’ll certainly travel and my decision will be whether to put him on the bench or not.”

7 comments

  • If we do sign him and I think he'd been good, let's not get on his back and lets get behind him. After all holt wasn't scoring 20 goals a season at shrewsbury, and I think people need to wake up just because teams like swansea and qpr are splashing it,

    Report this comment

    Barclayncfc

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • We definately need another Striker but we don't need CM-S!

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Agree with what you say Barclay, but the facts are wrong. In his one season at Shrewsbury Holt scored exactly 20 goals.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • The suspense is killing me...

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Mm, 2nd attempt. Let's try wording it differently: I'm not sure I can cope with all the suspense.

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Agree, Mr Ed. C Martin is out of contract next Summer and will be 24 years old. Does the Club want a fee or are they just going to give away another player?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

  • I see we've signed 'citizen Kane' from Spurs on a season long loan. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do and I'm sure he'll offer much more than Chris Martin.

    Report this comment

    Mr Ed

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

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

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