Chris Hughton is under no illusions. Norwich City’s recent goal return is simply not good enough.

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City have now scored once in their last five top flight encounters – one in six counting the FA Cup defeat to Luton – following the latest blank in the 0-0 Premier League draw against Fulham. Hughton’s bid to address that by pairing Grant Holt and Luciano Becchio in tandem at Carrow Road was scuppered by Holt’s untimely back injury on the eve of the Cottagers’ visit.

Becchio was deployed in a lone role before late reinforcements arrived in the shape of Simeon Jackson and Kei Kamara, but Hughton rejected any notion City had been too passive.

“The priority isn’t to not lose. We went into this game looking to win it, but we were dealt a blow with Grant’s injury. We had to change our plans,” he said. “Going into the game the aim was to be on the front foot, to play a little bit more in their half. It had to change. Yes, I was thinking of starting him (Holt) and Becchio – more so for Luciano because he has just come to the club, he was in real good goalscoring form and I was looking forward to seeing that.

“Of course the goals are a concern. It has to be a concern. We were on a poor run and at the moment it might not be by wins but we have managed to stop that poor run. We have had periods when we have played some good attacking football and been quite strong at the back as well and we have also been quite open and conceded. At the moment we are quite solid as a team, but lacking the flair qualities in that final third.”

Holt and Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) were key absentees for the Norwich manager in his bid to re-produce the vibrant display from the previous encouraging home draw with Tottenham.

“Am I disappointed not to win? Yes, I am,” said Hughton. “Was the plan to play a game that could get us the win? Yes, it was. If I looked at the similar formation there was only Pilkington and Holt who didn’t start from the last game here against Spurs, when I thought we were excellent. We were very offensive and looked a real threat and that is what I wanted to see here, but we lacked a bit of quality on the ball.”

Both players are expected to be fit for Everton’s visit on February 23 following the club’s mid-season four-day training break in Abu Dhabi. City’s senior squad flew out yesterday to the Emirates.

“It has been difficult as Norfolk has been hit heavier than most with the weather and we have had quite a few days where we have struggled to get on the training pitches,” said Hughton. “We are looking forward to a good few days training on a few good surfaces in Abu Dhabi.”

44 comments

  • Hughton was my choice for manager and I still stick by that on balance. If he keeps us up then that will, ultimately, be judged a success. He has sorted out the defence which I think that most will agree needed to be done and he has brought in some decent players. However, the balance needs to be struck. In some games, I don't have a problem with keeping it tight and looking for the draw, but in others (ie at home against Fulham) he needs to show variety in the way he sets the team up. I was interested to note that he was only 'thinking' of pairing Holt and Becchio together. Unfortunately, the evidence so far this season points to the fact that he would have erred on the side of caution. This team did not lack quality in the final third last season, but they did lack it in the first third. This was always going to be a difficult season with the transition from Lambert to Hughton, and I will be patient, but I expect these issues to be addressed in the summer.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Better still Canaryjon, he let James Vaughan go but kept Chris Martin AFTER JV had scored some good goals in the pre season friendlies. What's that term of endearment Delboy Trotter uses for his brother Rodney?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Here's a question, Ged, why are you such a (unt?

    Report this comment

    chirpy

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • There are still a lot of games left to get into trouble and a scrap at the bottom so CH must look at the way we play.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Give us a break mr ughton, don't start blaming it on Holt for calling in sick. There are 20,000 or more at Carrow Road feeling just like him. You are the Doc, so prescribe the remedy if you can, and fast . Listen a bit more to our voices, and less to the 'yes' men with you.. Read 'all about it ' while you are soaking up the sun, and draw your plans in the sand !

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Stew, don't faint! I agree.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Tell us something we dont know!!!

    Report this comment

    Henry

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Well thankyou Noclueton for stating the bleedin obvious ! !

    Report this comment

    Kristafa

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • city players have a few bad weeks the club take them on holiday we have a few bad weeks we get the sack maybe ch and his staff should pay 30 odd quid to see us work

    Report this comment

    muddy

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Look at the bright side, chirpy; at least they`re deleting the buffoon. It`d be better if Archant just sacked him.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • I see archant have deleted their Ged comment again. Way to make my comment look stupid.

    Report this comment

    chirpy

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Lack quality in the final third?! We just lack players in the final third, and have done since Mr Hughton and his negative tactics arrived in the summer. We are dropping like a stone and will soon be relying on the failings of others to remain in the league. We need to start attacking teams, prolonged possession in the final third will bring us goals, we have enough 'quality' if we supply the service

    Report this comment

    North folk

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • I don't expect he reads these posts Sharky and he certainly doesn't read the game. Chis Hughton, guru of the Paralysis Management School.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Is one goal in six games some sort of record? As Lobbo recalls, at least we have Hoolihan's aerial power to fall back on.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • I see James Vaughan got Man of the Match on Sat,what a good move that was to let him go for the season with a view to selling some-one we bought for £2m for £500K especially when he was looking good in pre-season!!!!!

    Report this comment

    canaryjon

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Picture caption - Mr. Hughton checks how much time is left...... ah, less than 5 minutes - ah, I am allowed to use subs now. Which forward shall I take off ? I wonder if the training in the desert will involve any practic at kicking that round leathery thing into that wooden-framed netty thing ? Sorry, I've forgotten what they're called !

    Report this comment

    john in exile in Leeds

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Chirpy, shame on you, that's no way to talk to the children of Archant executives, you'll upset them!

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Waclor, it was pretty obvious why James went out on loan, it was because of his terrible injury record, ie. CH wanted to see if he could last a whole season without getting crocked. I don't know the exact figures, but so far at Huddersfield he's missed roughly half the games through injury, which is why the (now ex) coach Grayson brought in two other strikers on loan, first Beckford and then Church. I think the boy can play, but he's no good to City if he's on the treatment table, it's as simple as that. On another tack, one does get the impression that you and several other people, but you particularly, sit waiting at your keyboard until a story comes up, so that you can then immediately post something negative about Hughton. In fact you sound more like Ged Steroo than Steroo does. You said on another thread a couple of weeks ago that you have never liked CH, but why exactly? Did he knock over your pint in the Mustard Pot (or whatever it's called nowadays), or something? Can you enlighten us?

    Report this comment

    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • CH should look at the way we play he was a defender and that's how he plays with one striker up front on his own . You need 2 strikers playing to side by side to feed off each other . but why put a striker for les than 5 mins the 2 new strikers should play together form the start .The way we play is to stop letting goals in but it don't always work because we have had several 5-0 defeats.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • yarco made a good comment a few articles ago "what the hell is happening on the training ground"!

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Picture caption - Mr. Hughton checks how much time is left...... ah, less than 5 minutes - ah, I am allowed to use subs now. Which forward shall I take off ? I wonder if the training in the desert will involve any practic at kicking that round leathery thing into that wooden-framed netty thing ? Sorry, I've forgotten what they're called !

    Report this comment

    john in exile in Leeds

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • city players have a few bad weeks the club take them on holiday we have a few bad weeks we get the sack maybe ch and his staff should pay 30 odd quid to see us work

    Report this comment

    muddy

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • city players have a few bad weeks the club take them on holiday we have a few bad weeks we get the sack maybe ch and his staff should pay 30 odd quid to see us work

    Report this comment

    muddy

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • JGavinLives, James Vaughan is doubtful for Huddersfield`s next game because of "a tooth"! Having said that, he seems to play well when he does play. A couple of Nationals gave him "Man of the Match" last weekend. I wonder what his overall absence record is for Hudds?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • 21 League & Cup games, 5 goals. (Wiki!).

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Why would our inability to score goals come as a surprise to Chris Hughton? We have recently been playing some of the most negative football I have seen for years. I agree with canaryjon's comments and remind Hughton that, as has been proven so often in the past, 'attack is the best form of defence'. We will never score goals by continually passing the ball backwards...

    Report this comment

    Mel Lacey

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Johnny G, Sorry I missed your post on Monday asking me why I disliked Hughton. I must admit I do not recall saying I had never liked him in fact I was surprised Ipswich did not get him in when Keane was sacked and I thought he was the right choice here. I very quickly became disillusioned with his apologetic approach. I have always thought that Norwich City lacked ambition. Probably only John Bond, Ken Brown, Martin O'Neill and Paul Lambert ever managed the club with the view that they could achieve great things and win something. Robert Chase certainly did not help the cause. Hughton seems to take the view: "Well I'll do what I can but all the other clubs are bigger, better and have classier players than Norwich. You're only a bunch of carrot crunchers from the back end of nowhere, why do you think you deserve premier league football anyway". I take your point on Vaughan although I think it was probably his attitude which brought about his loan. However he was scoring goals and 50% of a goal scorer is better than 100% of a non goal scorer like Chris Martin. Hughton had decided to play with a single striker but Vaughan was the ideal man to have on the bench for plan B,plan B being a necessity when you set out to be defensive. I also dislike the "When in doubt, don't do 'owt" school of management eg continuing to play Little Benno on the left where he is ineffective. The good managers are constantly analysing and tweaking to get the best out their squads. GH is more like old Walter Winterbotton and his first eleven and reserves approach to the England team. I hope I am wrong though. OTBC

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • GED you really do live in a world of your own, I love it, more of the same please.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Ooops! You said it; roughly half. Sorreee!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • city players have a few bad weeks the club take them on holiday we have a few bad weeks we get the sack maybe ch and his staff should pay 30 odd quid to see us work

    Report this comment

    muddy

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • city players have a few bad weeks the club take them on holiday we have a few bad weeks we get the sack maybe ch and his staff should pay 30 odd quid to see us work

    Report this comment

    muddy

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Ged are you really a Legend?....I'm growing tomato plants with that name. Also some called Yellow Stuffer. I'll send you a couple in the post if you put your address on here.

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • While I do agree with some of the things that are said here. Do you honestly think our manager reads these posts. If he did we'd be relegated by now. OTBC

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Hughton, you haven't got a front foot.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Kristafa that's brilliant "Noclueton". "...only Pilkington and Holt missing from the Spurs game". That would be a point worth making but we didn't win that one either did we? On 1st September, it was obvious that we did not have the strike force to score enough goals. I think I am right in saying that in only two games this season has the team been two goals up and has only scored more than one goal in three games. That is just not good enough but I do not want to hear Noclueton complaining about it as if it were (a) news to him and (b) the fault of somebodyelse. .

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • CH, get with it, the main talk before and after every one of our last six games on all these postings is "where are our goals going to come from". I remember donkeys years ago someone posted, a header from Hoolahan ,three goals from our full back oh and the odd free kick and that's about it. OUR FORWARDS NEED TO SCORE or at least be given the opportunity to do so.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Has Hoots been watching that irritating Quiz Show; "Pointless"? Or that scintillating exposé of sloth, "Shameless"?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Picture caption - Mr. Hughton checks how much time is left...... ah, less than 5 minutes - ah, I am allowed to use subs now. Which forward shall I take off ? I wonder if the training in the desert will involve any practic at kicking that round leathery thing into that wooden-framed netty thing ? Sorry, I've forgotten what they're called !

    Report this comment

    john in exile in Leeds

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • CH should look at the way we play he was a defender and that's how he plays with one striker up front on his own . You need 2 strikers playing to side by side to feed off each other . but why put a striker for les than 5 mins the 2 new strikers should together form the start .

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Do not worry its only a game... Norwich have been a worse situation before now... Should be safe from relegation ... If not ... Something will kick off...

    Report this comment

    Lionel

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Cheers Lobbo. I read in Yorkshire post that our feeder club is up for sale , anyone noticed that as well.

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • If Snodgrass called in sick, a few changes would have to be made, and who knows!

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • It does seem to be implied in the article that Holt and Becchio would have started together if both had been fit ... pity!

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Rob Steroo has commented tonight in the EADT on 1p5wich losing at Blackburn. My thought for the Fulham game is would City have played both Holt and Becchio in a 4 4 2 from the start on Saturday if Grant was fit?. If not, would Becchio have come on to join the talisman at some time during the game to create a two pronged attack. Holt could have given the Fulham defenders something to think about and allow Becchio and others to find space in the box to meet crosses from Hoolahan and Snodgrass.

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Monday, February 11, 2013

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

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