Time to seal the Premier League deal, warns Norwich City chief Chris Hughton

Alex Tettey is mobbed after his match-winning volley in the 2-0 Premier League victory over Sunderland. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Alex Tettey is mobbed after his match-winning volley in the 2-0 Premier League victory over Sunderland. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, March 24, 2014
7:00 AM

Chris Hughton challenged his Norwich City players not to squander a fresh chance to secure their Premier League future after sweeping aside Sunderland at Carrow Road.

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Robert Snodgrass’ fourth in his last eight league games and Alex Tettey’s stunning 30-yard volley before the interval clinched the win to pile the pressure on Gus Poyet’s team, who were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time when Marcos Alonso picked up a second yellow card. City can make life just as uncomfortable against Swansea, West Brom and Fulham in the weeks ahead and ease their own lingering fears of being sucked into a late season relegation battle after pulling seven points clear of the bottom three.

“The manner of the win was important because if that performance does not give us confidence nothing will,” said Hughton. “We wanted a reaction (from Southampton) because we weren’t good enough. That is not just down to individuals. You have days when you come out second best and in those games you have to make it a tighter battle and difficult for the opposition. We didn’t. We had to give the crowd something to shout about and we did.

“I thought we were excellent. We didn’t shy away from the fact we knew this was a big game because of who the opposition were. I thought we were excellent from start to finish. Generally when we have needed a big result they have managed to pull one out and that shows the character. What we were able to do was get the goals when we were on top and sometimes we have found that difficult.”

Tettey’s long range match-winning salvo sparked jubilant celebrations on and off the pitch led by Hughton.

“Alex does a lot of the hard work that goes unseen but he is a competitor and when he scores a goal like that he has to be on the winning team,” said Hughton. “It capped off a really good performance overall from him. We have had better performances perhaps, but you have to score the goals at the right time and in that first half period when we were good we got those goals.

“You know they have to change things and put the extra man up front and they will chase it and if they get one back then it gives them a lift. Then it becomes a question of showing nerve because you know Sunderland will take risks, but I thought we were resilient all the way through. In the second half the level of performance was still good enough to go on and score more goals. I thought we could have got another couple on top for our goal difference.”

23 comments

  • If this had been one of our last 4 games and we mor or less dominated in this fashion, then I would be celebrating, however it was a relegation candidate playing away. If the players get carried away with this, it will Villa away all over again. They mostly did their job. I remember many instances where they were wanting though - brilliant run and cross to far post by Olsson and only person near was Martin who backed off when top players would have gone for it and made it easily as he was uunmarked. Just saying we were not brilliant.

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    MichiganCanary

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • I agree that he is not necessarily the answer in every match however, but would like to see him start more often than not.

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    Smudger75

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Agreed, Michigan: we should not get carried away by one win against a bottom three side. Because we have not up to now shown consistency and resilience. We need to break the mould and get decent back to back performances. If we tackle our next game with the same degree of commitment we should be OK. But it also very much depends on Hughton;s tactics and team selection. If he goes back to his timid, frustrating, defense at all costs pattern, we could as usual lose momentum and get more dreadfully inept displays. Some are critical of Hoolahan's tackling. But Jimmy Greaves never put a tackle in during his career. But it didn';t stop him being a brilliant goal-poacher. Not every member of a team needs to possess the same capabilities. In fact it has been this lack of balance that has blighted us all season. Yes we need defenders and ball-winners. But they are of little use if, once they have won the ball, we don't have anyone who can exploit the situation.

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    malaga flier

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • That's right Stew - Hoolahan has to start every game from here on in.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • If this had been one of our last 4 games and we mor or less dominated in this fashion, then I would be celebrating, however it was a relegation candidate playing away. If the players get carried away with this, it will Villa away all over again. They mostly did their job. I remember many instances where they were wanting though - brilliant run and cross to far post by Olsson and only person near was Martin who backed off when top players would have gone for it and made it easily as he was uunmarked. Just saying we were not brilliant.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • …..GPL... It is clear that we are not going to agree on many things...a diagonal ball is a good ploy – some of the time – but not all of the time! I am a WES HOOLAHAN fan and prefer what he has to offer the side, rather than any other player on our books at the moment....he can open a defence with a shuffle of his foot, unlike the blood and guts approach seen from the likes of Snodgrass and others!....He is not a defender and is best kept away from that role, although he does defend, as Smudger pointed out, but much higher up the pitch.... then again Ruddy is not an attacker, and has it easy by comparison with that formidable defence in front of him! For me HOOLAHAN would be the FIRST name on my team sheet for EVERY game!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • …..GPL!...I take that you are in favour of the Kick and Rush-High Ball over the top as played in League 1 , but upgraded to 'defend at all costs' for our competing in the Premiership!....Hoolahan may be short, but he stands Head and Shoulders above anyone else available, whatever the circumstances. But he can do absolutely NOTHING sitting on the bench!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Stew I am in favour of winning football matches and different players are required for different matches. And anyhow, Hoolihan is not head and shoulders above everyone at Norwich. For me Johnny Howson gets that accolade. On top of that Fer for me would always be ahead of Wes but don't get me wrong. I love watching Wes play and in some matches he is sublime to watch but at this level those performance are sometimes outweighed by his lack of defensive qualities. I watched an incident on Saturday where Tettey was in a 50 50 tackle situation with a Sunderland player. Wes was even closer to the same ball in a 60 40 situation in his favour. Tettey left it for Hoolihan to take on and the Sunderland player won the tackle because Wes pulled out of the challenge. That then left both Tettey and Hoolihan out of position. Thankfully they did not capitalise on it but they are the situations when Wes can become a bit of a liability

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    GPL

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • No matter who the opposition, three points are always welcome. N City are having the good fortune of results of other matches being in their favour. Can they win two matches in a row ? A bigger ask is can our strikers score a goal between them before the end of the season?

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • .....Hughton !...The difference is HOOLAHAN !!....You have been told time and time again !!....Read the snippet in the Daily Mail this morning from another puzzled journo !!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Robert Snodgrass gets some bad comments on here but he has to be the best finisher in the squad. Without his goals City would be sunk by now. On the other hand, his one footedness reduces City's threat fron the right wing. Isn't the answer that he is playing in the wrong position? Perhaps a better manager would be able to accomodate him better than Mr Tunnel-vision Hughton.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • I agree Waclor and it puzzles me as to who so many fans are constantly on the back of Snodgrass, after all he is the only midfielder who has delivered his share of goals this season. The same cannot be said of any of the strikers thus far. Snodgrass can play anywhere across the midfield and right now, almost looks like the old style inside right or left. He is played on the right because we do not really have any other option. Yes Redmond is very quick but the end result is not quiet there as so many of his crosses are over hit, likewise his shots. That is not knocking the lad as he needs a bit more time and hopefully will be much better next season, meanwhile we need to get behind the man who scores the goals.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Hoolihan is not the answer to all Norwich City woes. He is part of a squad of players. There are some matches that he is suited to and some he won't. He was great on saturday but he pulled out of every tackle and some sides will exploit that. Aston Villa did because Paul Lambert knows him as a player. Others teams also spot it. So yes he is a very good option for us, but in my opinion there are games suited to him and games that are not

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    GPL

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • It is sad that 2 - 0 win at home against one of the bottom three (especially when we did not do well against the othe two) is getting everyone celebrating. I guess be thankful for every little piece of hope.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Absolutely PC but once he has played well in one game, other teams plan on how to stop him. I thought he played very well against Villa in the first half hour and formed a partnership with Hooper but CH dropped him for the next game, lets all hope he plays at Swansea but nothing surprises me with team selection any more.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Just listened to Steve Claridge on 5 Live. He never stops talking, interrupting and whining. Must have been a nightmare in the dressing room. No wonder he played for 19 different clubs. Anyway, Claridge reckons 36 points will be enough and Norwich should easily get a win and a draw to reach that total. He may be right, but I think 38 points is the promised land. That means 2 wins or one win and 3 draws. Norwich played well on Saturday, albeit against a poor side, but they have never had back to back wins and hardly ever had 2 consecutive good performances. The points needed have realistically got to come from the next 3 games. Hoping for the best but fearing the worst.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • waclor, I think the formation on Saturday played Robert less as a cack-footed `winger` and more as part of a 4-4-2 or even a `Diamond`, with Olsson and Martin providing some width. It worked against Sunderland but, let`s not kid ourselves, they were pretty poor. For what it`s worth, the sports journos, even in the `quality` papers, gave Sunderland defensive players ratings of 3 or 4, and Gustavo was forced into two early substitutions to toughen them up. That`s a terrible position to be in against Norwich! There`s hope for us yet if Sunderland continues to be that bad. But, as the truism goes, you can only beat who you`re playing, and we did. Phew! Yes, Robert needs to be played in his best position, which is NOT right wing! Then, I don`t have any `badges` or anything, so I freely admit "I know naaathin`" ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Careful what you wish for chaps. You might goad the Stubborn One into dropping Wes....

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Spot on Malaga. GPL, I agree with you that Wes does not suit every game, but I believe he would have suited far more games this season than Hughton has used him in. Like all players, Wes has his good games and his bad ones, but generally I think he has been a fairly consistent performer for us. I like him because he gives us something different to the other players we have, which makes us less predictable in our attacking play.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • PS, Smudger is correct about Hoolahan defending high-up - `block tackling` as he puts it. Wes was a right pest to the Sunderland defence. Because he`s small, people sometimes assume he`s fragile. Wessi`s shed his share of the red stuff, even when heading the occasional rare goal. I hope Tunnel Man has the vision to see this now. I hope he doesn`t `take the positives` of of this game by taking them out of the next one. Fingers crossed. It`s the luck of the draw with Chrissy.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Whilst Wes is not renowned for his tough tackling, it's not really where I expect him to concentrate his efforts. Having said that, I noticed him on more than one occasion in the first half at least, pressing the oppo defence and forcing errors-blocking-tackling and putting us back on the front foot. In fact, did that not happen in the lead up to one of our goals?

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    Smudger75

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Oh and one other thing about the diagonal high ball over the top. Thats the type of ball RVW would thrive on but we just do not have the type of player in our squad like say Steven Gerrard or Tom Huddleston who is capable of doing that. the Master of that was Gary Mc Allistair but sadly he has retired now

    Report this comment

    GPL

    Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Who why or what!

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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

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