Chris Hughton never had any regrets he made the right decision to join Norwich City despite a difficult start to his Premier League reign.

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The Canaries stretched their unbeaten league run to four games with a weekend point at Reading and Hughton is delighted with the positive response to early adversity following a heavy opening day reverse at Fulham.

“On that first day, I think we got a lot of things wrong. It was a bit of a surprise for us,” he said. “We had had a decent pre-season and we’d looked quite solid without scoring the goals we would have liked. We didn’t see that coming, I must admit.

“But I was encouraged straight after that. We had four games after that which were very encouraging, so I know it’s there. You can only deal with what’s put in front of you and I’ve been fortunate that I’ve got a good group of players. I’ve also brought in a good group of players and at the moment we’ve got some really good competition for places. On a lot of occasions, a second season is the toughest season. But that’s what the challenge is. I think the previous manager before me would have felt the same, that it was going to be a real tough season.”

Hughton’s squad have gone back to basics after a fourth clean sheet of the campaign at the Madejski, but the City boss insisted he did not inherit the rump of a squad with defensive vulnerability.

“No, the videos that I saw of last season were of a team that finished in 12th and won enough games and got enough points – a magnificent achievement,” he said. “If I’m able to achieve that this season I’ll be absolutely delighted. All credit to the players. They’ve responded really well. We knew it was probably the most important area - that we had to make sure we were a harder team to play against, and then look for your quality to score goals.”

Hughton accepts the next challenge is to try and carry greater potency going forward, but the City boss knows Manchester United will test Norwich’s new-found resolve this weekend at Carrow Road.

“We’ll need all that momentum and all the defensive qualities we have shown recently, and more, to get something,” he said. “They don’t come any tougher than that, even at home, but we are certainly better going into that for being on the run we are on. The players are the ones who have worked hard and who accepted the poor results before was not them - they are better than that.

“Maybe we have lost a bit of the attacking flair as a result of being more solid but it is hard for us to be the finished article and be as good as the big teams at both ends. Possibly we have had to sacrifice a little bit of that, but we are still getting into some good areas. The next stage is to remain as solid and create the opportunities on top of that.”

28 comments

  • Second season maybe the toughest? Maybe that`s why the previous manager scarpered. Cash in your chips while you`re winning. Know when to hold them, know when to fold them..... Sociopaths make brilliant poker players. IHWT.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • That`s the one, cdu. There are others, I suppose. Coward of the County. Boy named Sue us. 24 Hours from Ulcer.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • I agree, Pilks' performances have been disappointing of late. Apart from his poor crossing, he seems to have lost a yard of pace compared to last year. I wouldn't be suprised to see Benno recallled for Man U, as he is better defensively than either Pilks or Snods. I also worry that Turner and Johnson lack pace and will get found out on Saturday. Happy to be proved wrong.

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    canarydownunder

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Dobbino, I think Johnno`s been immense in tandem with Tettey. True, Pilks was particularly poor vs Reading and his crossing has been disappointing. Perhaps time to try Snods on the left & little Benno on the right? We miss the class of Fox`s passing, but the Tettey\Johnson pairing gives us so much extra muscle power. Also hard to see where Surs fits in just now, classy but a little "light"? Can he fulfil the Wessi role? Then there`s Howson. Clearly Lambo`s vision of the team structure was different from Hoots`. Midfielders need to show a bit more attacking intent\flair if the sole striker formation is to work. Who will it be....

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • For goodness sake Superfan - get back in your box. We're 15th in the Premier league and unbeaten in four (5 if you include cups) with a win % of 60% in those games. What do you want?

    Report this comment

    Canary on the moon

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • WHAT DIRECTION IS CHRIS MARTIN GOING ?

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Yarco, ol` pal, your CAPS LOCK is still STUCK! I think Chris Martin has no future at Norwich now. I just hope we get a few quid for him. He`s had loadsa chances and good managers and Holty and Wessi..... Has he LEARNED anything?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Incidentally, I too wonder what the future holds for Chris Martin, Surman, Fox and Barnett. I hope we bring Ayala and Vaughn back into the fold for the next season.

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    BureValleyPaddy

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • I think in the fulness of time Hoots will find the best role for each player. Or roles. There are players there who look capable of versatility, particularly EB and SW. We need to rediscover some goalscoring flair!!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • I agree with Headless. Let's keep calm and watch the team build strength from the back. Whilst I would like us to be more aggressive in both midfield and attack, having a tough defence is paying dividends. The objective is PL survival and with a bit more quality up front, we can do it. I also agree it's time for Benno and Jacko to get a run out and a go at the MU defence this weekend.

    Report this comment

    BureValleyPaddy

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Does that mean 'they'll be time enough for countin' when the season's done', or 'you picked a fine time to leave us Lambo' , MB?

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • A lovely bit of understatement there, "Lost a bit of attacking flair" We've become the most defensively minded team, since George Grahams Arsenal team of the 70's. You only win games by actually scoring!!

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Spot on, Chilly. Without that phenomenal, almost Fergie-esque record of late goals, we wouldn`t even be out of L1! The way things are set up, midfielders need to contribute more goals. Tettey looks promising with his long-range efforts. Pilks got 8 last season, none so far this time.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Dobbino, I think Johnno`s been immense in tandem with Tettey. True, Pilks was particularly poor vs Reading and his crossing has been disappointing. Perhaps time to try Snods on the left & little Benno on the right? We miss the class of Fox`s passing, but the Tettey\Johnson pairing gives us so much extra muscle power. Also hard to see where Surs fits in just now, classy but a little "light"? Can he fulfil the Wessi role? Then there`s Howson. Clearly Lambo`s vision of the team structure was different from Hoots`. Midfielders need to show a bit more attacking intent\flair if the sole striker formation is to work. Who will it be....

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • My only issue is that in fact there doesn't seem to be much competition for places. Johnson, Pilkington - selected week after week irrespective of performance.

    Report this comment

    Dobbino

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • NO HUGHTON---WE DID'NT GET IT WRONG AT FULHAM----YOU GOT IT WRONG. GOD KNOWS WHEN WE WILL GET A MANAGER THAT WANTS TO WIN A GAME OF FOOTBALL.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • NO HUGHTON---WE DID'NT GET IT WRONG AT FULHAM----YOU GOT IT WRONG. GOD KNOWS WHEN WE WILL GET A MANAGER THAT WANTS TO WIN A GAME OF FOOTBALL.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • I have no axe to grind for Johnno, Dobbino. I don`t think he`s the complete answer either, but, alongside Tettey he seems to add the required muscle in midfield. That`s a characteristic we wouldn`t get from, say, Surman or Foxy, skilful as they are. A sort of Johnson\Fox hybrid would maybe be the answer? I wonder if Howson could fulfil the role? Like irongloves, I see little Benno as a "wing-back". He has good defensive qualities and is quick enough to support the attacks. Shame Pilks is not "doing it" just now. I harboured hopes that he might feature regularly in the goalscorers` list. I wonder if Whittaker would work well alongside Tettey? He has a cracvking shot from both feet, too. IHWT.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • MB, I think we will just have to disagree on Johnson - he wouldn't be my first choice week in and week out. But at the moment I would pick Bennet before Pilks. He might not score a lot (mind you, how may has Pilk got this season?), but he does create more chances. And I agree re Fox - though he started well against Spurs but didn't finish well. I think that's just lack of match practice - he's a superb distributor of the ball.

    Report this comment

    Dobbino

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • @ yarco - I know I've been a litle sarcy in the past, but there really seems to be a problem with your keyboard. Can you possibly explain to us why you ALWAYS write in capitals? It comes over as a bit rude, as by convention capitals on a message board imply that you are shouting, and there really is no need to shout. Your mesage will be read if you write in lower case, and if it is a sensible message it will get a sensible reply. Caps are not necessary, so why do you use them all the time?

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • No news is no news. Archant must be getting pretty desperate if this is the best that they can dredge up. As for our two Mr Shouties, "Cut the Caps".

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Main problem is no goals coming from the flanks.Pilko yet to find last seasons form and Snods has showed so far he can't finish. Bennett isn't the answer. Only 1 goal in too many appearances, His best position would be wingback.It might be worthwhile trying Jacko out wide left.Just a thought.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • oh god! now superfan59 has got his caps lock stuck on. is this disease catching, or is superfan59 really yarco in disguise? ... and well said headless chicken - spot on!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • I would like to see us 'gamble' a little bit more when we are drawing games. QPR (h), West Ham (h) and Reading (a) games fell into this category. If we had won one and lost one of these games, we would be one point better off.

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    Kent Anglian

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Agree with your last two posts MB. I also agree that defensively we are a lot better than last season - but rock-solid we are not! And we haven't yet been punished for some really unnecessary errors in recent matches. Re Johnno, what I do like about him is the fact that he does get himself into goal-scoring positions, and I would forgive him a lot of faults if he just spent some time practicing keeping the ball down when shooting.

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    Dobbino

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • i agree with you brew.i feel that when hoolahan is tied down,howson is the man for that position.and i would always pick benno before snods.why not play fox in place of pilks on the left?that would add more culture to the team.otbc.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • You`re right about BJ getting into scoring positions, Dobbino. Somebody needs to take him back to basics - "knee over the ball" etc. Tettey packs a decent shot, as does SW. Surely these guys can conjure up a few goals for us? Please. Pretty please. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • Quite agree Kent, Hoots is more cautious than Lambo but with three points for a win I think we need to be more adventurous at times. Look at all those late goals we got a couple of seasons ago. Would we have got them under Hoots?

    Report this comment

    Chilly62

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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

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