Norwich City boss Chris Hughton hails ‘perfect’ first half storm in Swansea Premier League win
19:21 08 December 2012
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Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s first half display was as good as it gets in the thrilling 4-3 Premier League away win at Swansea.
The Canaries made it nine unbeaten in the top flight but they were made to fight for their first success on the road this campaign in a pulsating contest at the Liberty Stadium.
Steven Whittaker’s first goal for the club gave them the lead in the 16th minute before Sebastien Bassong scored for the third time in four games, heading in Grant Holt’s cross. The skipper then ended his recent drought when he headed home Snodgrass’ free-kick in the final minute of the opening period. Swansea hit back when Michu and Jonathan de Guzman scored within 15 minutes of the restart, but Robert Snodgrass made it 4-2 from a free-kick after Swansea skipper Ashley Williams had pulled down Holt. The Canaries looked to have weathered the storm until Michu scored his second of the match in stoppage time to make it 13 for the season.
“It is a tremendous result and what I am really delighted about is that it is a win away from home against a club in really excellent form and at a tough place,” said Hughton. “They showed second half why they had started the season so well but of course it is very much a game of two halves. That first half could not have gone any better for us. We didn’t make things easy for ourselves, albeit we could have been 4-0 up when Bradley (Johnson) hits the bar. We conceded too early and that was always going to give them a lift. Probably the thing that I was delighted about the most was when it went to 3-2 the majority of those here will have expected it to go 3-3 and perhaps Swansea to get a winner. I think we had a period where we had to really dig deep and the fourth goal was pivotal for us.
“It is a wonderful marker for them. We continually say every game is a tough one for us but that first half was really excellent. It doesn’t get any better but that is tough to sustain for 90 minutes. The character we showed with 30 minutes to go - it was 31 minutes to go actually - even though it seemed like longer.”
Hughton admitted City’s nine-match unbeaten run is a source of immense pride.
“I’m proud of the players for this run because they put in a tough shift every game,” he said. “Fortunately for us we showed enough resilience to see it through. They deserve every credit going. They knew the points hadn’t come for us earlier in the season but it was about creating something within the group to get us on a run.”