March 9 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 11, 2012
Chris Hughton is ready to get straight down to work as Norwich City manager – and is already looking forward to studying the Premier League fixture list.
The Canaries’ 2012-13 top-flight programme will be revealed on Monday June 18, with the dates of the home and away matches against Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa and two of Hughton’s former clubs, Tottenham and Newcastle, sure to be keenly anticipated for different reasons.
Before that, the new boss has plenty to keep him occupied, and cannot wait to get started.
Hughton said: “I think the first thing is for me to get my feet under the table and assess what we’ve got player wise, the organisation of pre-season, and I’m very much now looking forward to the fixtures coming out on June 18. That’s always a really exciting day.
“I’ve got lots of things to assess first because this all happened very quickly.
“So there is a lot to do regarding the players and an opportunity to speak to as many as I can and go through as much of last season as I can, the games.
“Then we are back in a pre-season period where most of the hard work starts. We will set the team up for the start of the season. It’s straight to work and it is a wonderful challenge for me, particularly when there is a group of players that you know but you don’t know so well.
“It’s about getting the best out of the squad we’ve got, and the additions we can make to the squad. I am very much ready to get down to that as soon as I can.”
Hughton said he had a holiday planned before pre-season training starts – but would spend some of it brushing up on City’s matches last season through DVDs.
He said: “Even over the last couple of days until it was really finalised, I haven’t really attempted to speak with anybody, or to look at any games. But I do have a pile of all the games which I will be going away on holiday with, and take them with me as good daytime viewing.”
City’s provisional pre-season schedule – in place before Hughton’s arrival – was announced yesterday, with six games, including two at Carrow Road and one during a week-long training camp in Austria (see story above).
Looking further ahead, the former Tottenham defender is relishing the prospect of match days at Carrow Road, where he played many times in the 1980s.
“It’s a unique atmosphere, a wonderful place to play,” he said. “I always enjoyed playing here and I’ve also come to watch games here on numerous occasions. It’s a super atmosphere and, because the percentage of support is local support, you get them really getting behind the team.”
Hughton said he did not feel he had a special point to prove in the Premier League after his surprise sacking at Newcastle in 2010.
He said: “No not really, because I think you can only really look back at what you achieved and if in yourself you can look at yourself and feel that you’ve done the best job that you can, and you’ve worked as hard as you can, then it’s part and parcel of the game. It’s something that you have to move on from.
“I’ve got very fond and good memories of my time at Newcastle and I’ve always preferred to look at it that way than in any other way.
“I have had some messages from Newcastle congratulating me and I think we all move on.”
City chairman Alan Bowkett said, however, that he felt Hughton had a hidden hunger to achieve things at the top level of the English game.
“Chris said he doesn’t have anything to prove with the Premier League but I think he is probably hungrier than he made out,” said Bowkett.
“All I can see is the fans loved him at Newcastle and the messages of congratulation from Newcastle were just outstanding.
“And I have to say the messages we have had from team members about the appointment have been extremely supportive.”