Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Friday, August 17, 2012
Chris Hughton has brushed off pundits’ predictions Norwich City face a Premier League season of turmoil.
The Canaries’ chief takes charge of his first competitive fixture since replacing Paul Lambert over the summer in tomorrow’s top flight opener at Fulham. Norwich have predictably been touted for a return to the Football League in many quarters after defying the odds to finish 12th last season, but Hughton dismisses the doubters.
“I see the papers and hear things on the radio and it’s hard to avoid stuff but everyone has their opinions,” he said. “We are in a world of media and twitter and so on and everyone will voice their opinions. Everyone’s opinion last season was maybe that Norwich would have struggled and that wasn’t the case.
“If you end up taking everything on board that you see, you would be permanently depressed. The overriding thing is that you have to want the challenge. You have to accept the challenges and hopefully come through that.
“It is quite obvious that to say an improvement on our league position would be an outstanding achievement. We have made absolutely no targets here. The only requirements we have is that the players give all they can. That is what the football club saw from them last season.”
Hughton is equally at ease inheriting Lambert’s mantle as the man who charted the Canaries’ rapid rise from the depths of League One.
“No, I don’t feel I have any personal point to prove. What I have are the challenges that we as a club will have in the Premier League,” he said. “Every club has its own expectations so for me, no, I don’t have a point to prove. I’m just really looking forward to it. I guess only hindsight will tell you if it has been a success.
“Everyone recognises the job Paul and the club has done over the last three years with two promotions and Premier League status. That is also a challenge. Can we continue the progress?
“Everyone will gauge how they see that – whether it is about an improvement in the league position, is it sustaining Premier League status, is it ensuring the club grows with the work at the training ground, the academy status, and so on. I would like to think we can make progress in a lot of areas.”