Norwich City boss Chris Hughton gives his view over defining moment against Stoke
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Chris Hughton defended Robert Snodgrass over his role in the defining incident which tilted this gruelling Premier League clash in Norwich’s favour.
Stoke counterpart Tony Pulis suggested the Scottish international had not been touched by Andy Wilkinson for the free-kick that ultimately led to Bradley Johnson’s winner.
Pulis also insisted Charlie Adam was harshly treated following an earlier caution for simulation after an apparent shove from Javier Garrido.
Hughton was well aware of Pulis’ post-match views, but chose to place both skirmishes in the context of a frenetic top flight encounter rather than re-ignite the debate on cheating.
“I haven’t seen it (the goal) since but I have heard the comments,” he said. “I think it was the linesman on the far side who gave it and who obviously had a good view. If anything is labelled at Robert Snodgrass you have to say the same about Charlie Adam, who went down. If you are looking at incidents in a game there are so many and you are always going to pick out a few. It is a tough, physical game and you have to be able to deal with it.
“Sometimes when you are that close to an incident and you get a good view you are very confident in what you say. It is a little bit like the free-kick that was given in our favour. I know Stoke had a moan about it. If you are close you can make a good opinion, but it was a frenetic game against a good Stoke team.
“Certainly over the 90 minutes there were some (fouls) that went against us which I can certainly say shouldn’t have been given.”
Hughton felt the hosts made life hard for themselves before emerging with a second consecutive Premier League home win.
“What we needed to do at times was put more pressure on them. Could we have done better when we had the ball? Yes, particularly in the second half when we broke and got into some good areas,” he said. “We had two very good chances in the 90 minutes, apart from the goal. What we needed was to press them more but that takes a lot of energy.
“Against a team like Stoke it takes a lot out of you. If you look at the game I think we restricted them to Kenwyne Jones’ header and apart from that most of their chances were half chances.
“It was a very hard-fought encounter, but I don’t think you expect anything less. Stoke do what they do very well and what they have added is more quality in doing it. You look at their bench and the players they can bring on, it really has changed the status of their club.
“Particularly for us having to change two defensive players as well in that second half, I am really delighted with the win.”
Norwich’s third home league clean sheet this season also provided fresh proof of a new-found resolve.
“We are not making the individual errors that we had been,” said Hughton. “When we conceded goals, they came at bad times and you have to open up a little bit to try and get back into the game. That leaves you more open and you concede more. We certainly look more compact now. We are not scoring the amount of goals we would like, but you can’t have everything.
“At the moment we are looking a secure unit. We have spoken quite a few times about how earlier in the season we didn’t get the three points and in this division it is vital and valuable to get three points. We have got ourselves back to that previous level of performance and we are looking more solid.”