Chris Hughton has left his Norwich players in no doubt the countdown to an opening day Premier League trip to Fulham begins this evening in the picturesque Austrian surroundings of FC Gleisdorf (6pm CET).

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German Bundesliga Two club Hertha Berlin provide stiff opposition at the homely Solarstadion and Hughton is looking for a positive postscript to a gruelling week-long training camp at Bad Radkersburg.

“You don’t like losing any games, but that is not the important aspect,” he said. “These friendlies are designed to set ourselves up for what will be a very tough season. The aim is for me and the coaches to be able to put some of our ideas into the players, to put across the shape we want to play and some tactical thoughts and then adapt as we go.

“At this moment we don’t know what side they will put out and how many changes they will make but they are a good side – as regards the quality of the opposition it is vastly experienced. It is about getting through the game and making sure, if we can, we travel back after the game injury-free and that will be the end of a good week.

“The pre-season was arranged before I got here but it’s a good one with good games. I’m pleased after this game and the Celtic game that the remaining matches are back on home soil.

“We have some very good fixtures that give us an opportunity to look at the players.”

Hughton is ruling out any radical change of emphasis from the tried and trusted methodology which successfully carried the Canaries from the depths of League One under his predecessor.

“We won’t be doing anything spectacularly different with the shape of the team,” he said. “Simply put, we want to play in a way that wins us games, whether we rotate players or shapes. That certainly doesn’t really matter at this stage.

“The Premier League is the toughest league to win games in. You at times have to adapt, whether that’s home or away, and do what you have to do to get a result.

“I do like a good tempo in the way that we play, but also a team that ultimately is going to win games. I wouldn’t have thought there would have been any complaints last season if you were a Norwich supporter or a Swansea supporter in the way the team were playing, and they both got very good positions in the league.”

The new City boss has been delighted with the attitude and application of his charges this week after stepping up their pre-season preparations in the sweltering heat of central Europe.

“Training has gone well. The heat makes it a little bit harder for players but what you want to do is come through the week with improved fitness levels and as much as that to come through with no injuries,” said Hughton.

“It is always a tough period with a few knocks and blisters and slight strains and soreness but at the moment we are okay. Pre-season doesn’t change anywhere – whether you are working with or without the ball they have still go to put the effort in and cover the distance.

“If they can do that with a ball at their feet I suppose it is a touch more enjoyable for them but we’ve had good sessions without as well. It is all about trying to reach the targets we set at the end of the week with no injuries.”

The City manager, speaking to the club’s official site, believes he will reap the benefits of the secluded Austrian camp as Norwich look to hit the ground running at Craven Cottage on August 18.

“We came here for the environment. It is a very healthy environment and they are used to hosting football teams,” he said.

“It gives us a chance to get away and get the boys focused. The facilities have been really good. It can get a little bit boring at times when you come away, but that is part and parcel of it.

“We had a week at the training ground in Norwich and here again this is an opportunity for myself and the coaches to see the players – particularly when we play full-sized games – and an opportunity to watch them close up. It is about getting as much knowledge out of the week as we can.”

7 comments

  • wisemanthree - I'd say we were about £20M light in terms of what that money would bring in the way of two quality defenders and one more qualty striker. Add them and we would be in shape to fight for a top half place. Without that it is not difficult to see us struggling to pick up points next term. OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • I'm not worried at all, QPR spent a lot last season and only just stayed up. West Brom will maybe be down there as well. I think we have a good, talented squad with a good manager and we'll be all right.

    Report this comment

    ImDrunky

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Drunky agree with you, spending the money is easy getting players in that fit into the team is the hard part. But if we get to the first game of the season with no further additions then it could be a long hard winter. OTBC

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    Singapore Canary

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Don't worry Brew, any fool can splash the cash for players and pay silly inflated wages as has been proven before. Hoots and McNasty are consolidating steadily, better progress that way that has more chance to last. Have faith!

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • I will add one more point though; I am getting concerned at just how much money is being spent on players by all three of the promoted clubs, as well as the likes of QPR. Even Reading!! Some of these players are real quality and it does make me concerned about our chances! I understand we aren't exactly loaded, but when I compare our purchases to some of the predicted bottom-half teams I do worry.

    Report this comment

    wisemanthree

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • I agree with ImDrunky, though I worry as much as Dubai seems to at times! Sometimes the total can exceed the sum of the parts; I think the last 3 seasons illustrates that. There has to be an improvement in the performances of the centre back group. I live in hope that Ward WILL step up to the mark, while Ayala & R. Bennett are young and are still learning their craft. Maybe we should offer Barney in part exchange for Curtis Davies - if Davies is genuinely a better player, not a "the other man`s CB is always better" syndrome. The 3 promoted clubs have certainly been to the shops, specially Reading. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • I don't know about anyone else, but the more I hear from CH the happier I am that he is our new gaffer. Obviously if we have a season's worth of losses then that attitude would change, but at this stage I am feeling quietly confident that we have bagged ourself a quality leader at the helm.

    Report this comment

    wisemanthree

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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