May 26 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Chris Hughton pushed the positives after his Norwich City side slipped to a 3-2 defeat in an entertaining pre-season opener against Hertha Berlin in Gleisdorf on Saturday evening.
The Canaries’ chief had no complaints over the result, after Elias Kachunga’s hat-trick had proved the difference with City’s second half arrival James Vaughan grabbing an encouraging brace.
Hughton revealed Steve Morison (ankle) and David Fox (leg) both sat out the game as an injury precaution in southern Austria, but the bigger picture was no fresh concerns following a gruelling week and the benefits of a more than competitive first outing of the summer against the former Bundesliga outfit.
“It was a very good run out but what we had was a team who are two weeks ahead of us in terms of preparations,” said Hughton. “They start their league campaign two weeks before us so it was a good test. We were able to make 11 changes at half-time and we wanted to get a bit of rhythm of course but I’ll wait until I get the physical data from the coaches to assess how well the boys have done (in this game). We have come through with no new injuries and it has been a good week for us.
“We need to take this on now for the Celtic game and approach that in the same vein, look to improve on the fitness level. Of course it is disappointing to lose a game of football but I would rather lose them at this stage of the pre-season than later on.”
Hughton admitted City paid for a sluggish start with the lively Kachunga calmly slotting underneath the advancing John Ruddy in the 12th minute before beating the England keeper from longer range two minutes later before Vaughan’s arrival triggered a second half fightback.
“We knew before the game about the quality they had from what they did last year. They’ve had a good pre-season, speaking to their coach, and they were ahead of us fitness-wise so it was a good test,” he said. “We’ve come out of it unscathed and look forward to Tuesday. When we got two goals back I felt we could perhaps go on and win the game. I was a little disappointed at the silly penalty that we gave away, which is something you don’t like to see. We were certainly better in that second half and I felt we were at least capable of drawing the game.”