Norwich City boss Chris Hughton’s change of formation and supersub pay dividends
12:40 25 February 2013
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Chris Hughton resisted any temptation to be wise after the event following a stirring Everton comeback.
The City chief abandoned the lone frontman role in the desperate search for goals with Grant Holt paired alongside recent January recruit Luciano Becchio, and Wes Hoolahan shifted into a left midfield role. Becchio was given just under an hour to soften up the Toffees’ rearguard before Kei Kamra profited with a pivotal cameo.
“I think when you get a result it is always easy to look at formations and the way we set the team up,” said Hughton. “I made the decision to go with the two up front. I had to think long and hard about it because these are a side who are good in central midfield and they out-number you. They have two wide players who tuck in so it is always a bit of a risk to play two front players against a team of this quality, but I just felt with the run we had been on, when we perhaps had not had what we would have liked in that final third, that we would just change the formation.
“When you bring on substitutes you are hoping they can affect the game and that is probably more important than scoring the goals. With Kei he gives us something different to what we have.”
Kamara’s late impact may have edged fit-again match-winner Holt out of the headlines, but not for his manager.
“I am delighted for Grant because as a goalscorer it has been a little bit tougher this season but I thought he deserved it,” said Hughton. “It was a real good performance from him. He is our captain and he does drive the team on and I suppose in that type of atmosphere towards the end of the game there is nobody better to be leading the line than Holty.
“Irrespective of the fact he probably has not scored the goals he would have liked he is still our captain and he still puts in that shift game in, game out. You want all your best players available so if Grant isn’t, is that a problem? Of course it is, but there are numerous players in the squad you do not want to do without.”
Absent midfielder Alex Tettey arguably comes into the same category. Hughton revealed the combative Norwegian may need a short break after sitting out training for the majority of last week.
“We have to make a decision on whether it is a case of us resting him for a couple of games or not,” said Hughton.