Norwich City boss Chris Hughton looking for first Premier League away win of the season
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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton knows stopping Southampton’s ‘fab four’ tonight is the key to a first away win of the season.
Only Fulham have scored more goals at home outside the top six than the newly-promoted Saints – largely through the combined efforts of potent attacking quartet Adam Lallana, Jason Puncheon, Rickie Lambert and Gaston Ramirez.
The £12m Uruguayan international was on target in the weekend home win over Newcastle that pushed Nigel Adkins’ squad out of the bottom three ahead of the Canaries’ visit.
“They thoroughly deserved the victory and they are a team who you can tell are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment,” said Hughton. “They are off the back of a good win at QPR and they took that form into the Newcastle game.
“At certain stages it became quite open and I think that type of game suits them with the front players they have and the full backs, who get into good attacking positions. As a team we will have to defend well against them. They have conceded goals, but that was a good clean sheet and we know what they are capable of.
“For us, it is about showing the confidence we have of late and trying to nullify the qualities they have got. That is what has got us through this run. We won’t under-estimate them. They have a lot of good options.”
Hughton insists Southampton’s attacking prowess has come as no surprise to him after adding multi-million pound additions in the summer.
“When you look at Jay Rodriguez, who I think they paid £7m for, who is on the bench at the moment and, of course, Ramirez – who looks a real quality player – they spent really big money on him,” he said.
“I saw a lot of them last season and I thought they were really excellent, they way they played. A very offensive team, who can always score goals, and I think in this division they’ll score goals. What they have found more difficult is making sure they don’t concede them, but they got both ends right on Sunday and they looked a very good outfit.”
City have claimed three consecutive Premier League draws on the road in recent weeks and Hughton is confident the visitors’ can contain Southampton’s obvious threat.
“They have really good movement from the front four and the two full-backs,” he said. “At home they create a wonderful atmosphere and I think when they’re like that there is no doubt they have dangerous players but we’re conscious of that and we have to make sure that we’re aware we’re going into the game in good form as well. We are on the back of a few draws away from home, which in this division are always good points, and we’ve got to make sure we are as hard to beat as we have been.”