Norwich City boss Chris Hughton keeps faith despite leaving Newcastle empty-handed
PUBLISHED: 12:04 24 September 2012 | UPDATED: 17:17 24 September 2012
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Manager Chris Hughton was putting a brave face on his Norwich City side's continuing search for their first Premier League win of the season after defeat at his former club.
The Canaries went down 1-0 at St James’ Park to Newcastle United, the club that sacked Hughton as boss less than two years ago.
It left them with just three points from their first five league games of the campaign and, just as worryingly, only two goals in seven and-a-half hours of football.
A first-half goal from Demba Ba, his third in two matches, decided the contest, but the Magpies would have been 2-0 up by half-time had Papiss Cisse not blazed a penalty over the bar.
Hughton, however, believes City’s spirit and quality of football will bring them victory sooner rather than later.
He said: “We’re on the back of four good performances and having been here for a period of time, I know how tough it is to get a result here.
“Perhaps this wouldn’t have been one of Newcastle’s better performances but I know still it’s difficult to get a result here.
“If we can show that type of performance, that type of spirit, then that win won’t be too far away. But this is probably the fourth game in a row that I’ve had this frustration and I very much look forward to these three points because I think this group of players deserve it. We were closer at Tottenham and the Tottenham performance was one where we did deserve to win.”
City lost defender Sebastien Bassong after less than eight minutes with a hamstring injury and were caught cold when Ba struck in the 19th minute.
“I’m disappointed with the goal we conceded because it’s a classic goal of the kind we saw earlier in the week – that type of movement into that type of space,” said Hughton.
“But I thought we pressed and we showed enough quality in our possession, albeit we didn’t have great chances – Andrew Surman, I think, arguably had the best chance of the game apart from the penalty.
“But I thought we pushed enough and created enough that I thought we deserved to get something.
“I know in this game you make your own luck, but we also haven’t had a fortunate penalty or a deflected goal, or I could even go back to a couple of incidents at Carrow Road that went against us.
“We haven’t had that little bit of fortune, but you have to make that yourselves and I’d like to think we’ve got a group of players that will come away from today, learn what didn’t give us the result we wanted and make sure they put that right.”
City face winless Liverpool, one of only three teams below them, at Carrow Road next Saturday, the first time in four matches Hughton will not be up against one of his former clubs. He was delighted with his reception from fans at Newcastle, but would rather have had at least a point.
“It was always a game that I was looking forward to and the reception was excellent and I’m absolutely delighted with that,” he said.
“But what I wanted it to be was a better day, and an even better day would have been for us to get a result that on the balance of play, as the away team, we probably deserved.
“It’s always strange to come back to somewhere where you’ve been in the other dug-out, but of course as soon as the game kicks off it’s about your team performing well, trying to get a result and keep a very passionate crowd quiet. My focus is a disappointment today because I felt we could have got something. I’ve got a team that put in a real good shift today.”