Norwich City boss Chris Hughton loves it when a plan comes together

Chris Hughton and Stoke boss Tony Pulis embrace before the game. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Chris Hughton and Stoke boss Tony Pulis embrace before the game. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Monday, November 5, 2012
11:04 AM

Chris Hughton said Bradley Johnson’s superb header underlined the huge potential of his squad to punish Premier League rivals from set plays.

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Johnson despatched Robert Snodgrass’ dipping free-kick to sink a physically imposing Stoke outfit, but Hughton wants to see more of the same given the quality in his ranks.

“It was very good technique (from Bradley). I haven’t seen the goal again since, but knowing the angle of where the ball was delivered and where Bradley was I didn’t expect it to go in. I was a little bit surprised,” he said. “He can do well in the air and it was a good leap from Bradley.

“It is pleasing that we are going through a good period of set plays, and so we should. We have real good delivery from people like Robert and Anthony Pilkington. We should have been making more of it and at this moment we are.”

Hughton admitted the injury loss of defender Michael Turner was a potentially major blow at the other end to thwart the likes of Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch during Stoke’s second half surge.

Both Turner and Javier Garrido (suspected knee injury) will be assessed over the coming days by City’s medical staff, but Hughton was optimistic neither face a long spell on the sidelines.

“I must admit I have just come out of the changing room and I am not too sure what the boys have done. I know they are not serious ones, but still enough for them not to finish the game,” said the Norwich boss.

“We will assess them and take it from there. I have a feeling Javi’s is not too bad because he was carrying it for a little while and Michael too.

“Michael has been doing so well for us and he is a big one physically as well. We needed him there, particularly up against Crouch and the set plays. To change it was a blow.

“When we had to do it also with Garrido, if anything that gave us a little bit more height with Ryan Bennett coming in – but it was still a disruption. We had to soak up a lot of pressure but we broke well when we could.”

Hughton confirmed fellow defender Russell Martin was ‘not close’ after a tentative fitness test on Friday following the back injury suffered against Aston Villa. Steven Whittaker came in for an assured Premier League debut in another 90 minute shift after his long term ankle ligament problem.

“The reason I brought Steven in was his versatility. He can play anywhere of seven or eight positions,” said Hughton.

“Really good, considering he had a long period of not doing anything and then one development game. He had a real tough 90 minutes and I am delighted for him.

“In the end, Russell was not so close. He gave it a go on Friday because he felt a lot better, but once we gave him a mini fitness test, no. We need to let it settle down for a couple of days and I don’t want him doing anything until Wednesday and then he can push for next weekend.”

14 comments

  • Bradley's last goal was a header as well, wasn't it?

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • MB's "IHWT" has certainly given me a giggle. Anybody reading his repetitive and anti-"Hoots" comments pre-Arsenal would see that this man is more fickle than even I gave him credit for!

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    andyrew

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • Tettey's willingness and ability to shoot powerfully from distance will be unsettling for opposing defenses as will Hoolahan's creativity and nimleness. Good delivery from the wings as we had last season and our goal count will soon pick up. Hughton is doing a very good job.

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    canary_canuck

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Dunno about that Timbo... looks more like Don't Leave Me This Way to me, he he. A well deserved 1-0 to the football team! Tettey top class.

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    el dingo

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • With Whittaker, R. Martin and R. Bennett showing such versatility, we have flexible strength in depth. Little Benno`s no slouch at RB, either. Plenty of midfield cover, maybe just a tad light in the striking dept? The loss of Harry Kane so soon did not help! I imagine Hoots is on the case. IHWT.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • I agree that Hughton is doing well. He was always the manager I wanted to replace Lambert, but I have to say I have had to work hard to keep the faith at times this season. Things seem to be coming together nicely at the moment. We need a result on Saturday and then the performance against Utd will be a tough examination of where we are. Glad to see Southampton losing 2-0 as well. OTBC

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    Preston Canary

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Loving the pic. Hughton to Pullis........" I know it was you Fredo.......You broke my heart, you broke my heart..."..

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    Timbo

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Saw an interesting statistic on MOTD2. If only goals scored by British players counted, Norwich would be top of the Premiership! 5W, 4D, 1L. I haven`t checked that, mind. PW, Holty deserves a chance but I doubt he`ll get one now. Great shame. Sadly, his early career never took on the impetus his ability merited. Ironically, a major spanner in the works was his time at Forest when he was mismanaged by none other than Calderwood, who then sold him cheaply to Shrewsbury. Gunn`s great moment came when he bought GH for us. Holty`s great moment was when PL came in and got him going properly. Certainly better than Carroll and Crouchie`s had his chances already. Did well, to be fair.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Momentum is such a tricky thing isn't it as it can quite easily shift in the other direction. I always think that it is so important to get that first win early and then you feel as if you are off and running. We didn't manage to do that last time we were in the Prem and consequently we struggled and ended up getting relegated. If I was a Soton fan I would be worrying about how many they are conceding. Last year we conceded a decent number but still had a better balance between attack and defence. In the Prem you can have the attitude of 'you score one, we'll score two' if your attack is good enough, but more than one and you are in trouble. I feel we are looking more confident, but we need to keep re-inforcing it. Every game is so important and at some point those bottom three are going to pick up their form. QPR have an ok run of fixtures between now and Christmas for example, so we need to make sure we take care of our business. IHWT

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • I don't feel like dancin' by Scissor Sisters

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • City are also best performers in the disciplinary league too which means less suspensions later on in the season.No sendings off either.Holt,in particular, has done well to contain his risk of being red-carded which ought to help his England credentials-given a fair chance.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • The Southampton result didn't do us any harm, though I am sorry for a friend who's niece walked out as one of their mascots last night. However, it doesn't take much bad form for us to be back in the tumble-drier again. Come on City, you can do it. IHWT.

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • I agree that Hughton is doing well. He was always the manager I wanted to replace Lambert, but I have to say I have had to work hard to keep the faith at times this season. Things seem to be coming together nicely at the moment. We need a result on Saturday and then the performance against Utd will be a tough examination of where we are. Glad to see Southampton losing 2-0 as well. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • It`s strange how impetus\confidence can either wax or wane upon promotion to the Prem. Last season Swansea and Norwich waxed while QPR waned. This year both Reading & Soton are struggling while Fred Flintstone`s WHU are going quite well. QPR are still on the wane. 2nd season syndrome, whatever that is? Norwich "yet to declare" but promising signs. A lovely win, preferably a convincing one, vs Reading would be good. C`mon, Hoots!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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