Premier League places up for grabs in Chris Hughton’s Norwich City

Chris Hughton watches as Wes Hoolahan takes the attack to Ajax. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Chris Hughton watches as Wes Hoolahan takes the attack to Ajax. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Thursday, August 2, 2012
12:05 PM

Chris Hughton has warned his Norwich City squad that no-one is guaranteed a starting spot ahead of the Premier League curtain raiser at Fulham on August 18.

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City head to MK Dons tomorrow in their latest build-up game and Hughton insists league places are very much up for grabs.

The Canaries’ chief revealed he is open to persuasion after using the early pre-season friendlies to assess the majority of his senior stars.

He said: “I’m still learning about the players. I think when you go into a new club you can be learning right the way through pre-season and even the start of the season. Players form goes up and down, some players may not get the same amount of time to show what they can do. I would like to think by the end of pre-season I will be a little clearer in my own mind, which I will be, but you want players to change your mind and push for places.

“We brought the new lads in to give us competition all over the pitch and you hope as a manager that brings the best out of players. Come the start of the season I have to pick 11 players and I want that job to be a difficult one. In some ways, perhaps it would be better if it was an easier job because that means there are 11 who have forced themselves into my thinking and it almost becomes a natural choice.”

Ajax’s midweek visit was the perfect barometer for the City boss to assess what is at his disposal. Anthony Pilkington fired the Canaries ahead but the Dutch champions were full value for Lasse Schone’s equaliser prior to the interval.

Hughton said: “It was a big test for us and they were stronger than the side they put out at Southampton at the weekend because we watched some of that game. They really showed their quality as you would expect from the Dutch champions. I believe they play the equivalent of their Community Shield game domestically this coming weekend so that is how close they are to their season starting.

“We expected a test, we expected them to be very, very good on the ball. When you see them at first hand you realise how good they are and our supporters I think would have enjoyed watching Ajax. Nothing they do comes by coincidence - they train and play like that day in, day out. They have a blueprint with the options they have, how they move the ball and how hard they work without it. They press high, they are an offensive threat and I was very impressed by them.”

24 comments

  • Like it, Scrim. And we could have little Benno, Turner, Morison, Jackson and Johnson on the bench - can`t be bad! Plus one of the young goalies and Lapps as FB back-up? There isn`t a lot of FB back-up just now........ OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, August 3, 2012

  • Morison`s an enigma. When he first arrived, it looked like he might even usurp Wunderpferd. He started last season well and scored goals early on. He did score a couple of late winners, one versus QPR away and another I`ve forgotten now. But he did win us some important points. He seemed to go "off the boil" and Holty is .....Holty. Then the fans started to get on Moro`s back and maybe he lost his Mojo a bit. We shouldn`t write him off. Perhaps he could be converted to a full-back? ;-) OTBC

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 6, 2012

  • Gotta love that sweet sweet oil of vitriol. I think you could have a diverse and strong bench with that line up due to the selection of people you'd have to leave out! Obviously subs would depend on the circumstances, but, generally speaking I'd be bringing on Simeon for Holt for the last 2030, BennettFox in midfield for attacking options and perhaps Johnson for defensive. WIN

    Report this comment

    Scrimmage Canary

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

  • BTW, what about "Smiling Steve" Morison?

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

  • I'm not sold on the guy. He's scored a couple of good goals and is pretty good at holding up possession on the wing and stuff, but, I sometimes get the feeling he has more to give than he actually puts in. I'd love him to prove me wrong though!

    Report this comment

    Scrimmage Canary

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

  • Sounds fantastical, Scrim. ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

  • Like it Scrim. Full reply "oilofvitrioled". :-(

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, August 3, 2012

  • Gizza us a job! My starting 11 vs Fulham would not be very surprising - Ruddy, Tierney, Bennett, Ward, Martin, Pilkington, Howson, Hoolahan, Snodgrass, Vaughan and Holt. WIN

    Report this comment

    Scrimmage Canary

    Friday, August 3, 2012

  • Oh and when I say Johnson for 'defensive', what I mean is defensive slash holding midfield, obviously not as a defender...

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    Scrimmage Canary

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

  • Fragment #2. Subs` bench should look pretty impressive too. Except for the Full-back dept..........

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, August 3, 2012

  • Yes, Scrim, we are indeed replete with available talent. We`ll have "Cushie" Butterfield, too, when he`s mended! Full-backs, though?

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

  • It`s just Press Puff, Penfold. Don`t anticipate anything original in these paarts! Thass bin bred out.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

  • Gizza Gazza!!! (aka Cushie Butterfield). OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

  • I happened to catch a replay on Newzealand TV today of Suarez skinning Ward like a kipper. Did not make me smile. Any more of that this season and he'll be dropped out of my fantasy Norwich line up in my fantasy universe in which I'm the fantasy Norwich manager.

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    Scrimmage Canary

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

  • Surely Ruddy is already in the starting line up along with Holt, Howson & Hoolahoop?!? strange article

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    Penfold

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

  • Gizza a decent story!!

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    kevin

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

  • Gizza game!

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

  • Pretty much agree with that Scrimmage, so far I see the main (available) unknown is Turner, but he will probably be on the bench for this one.

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    Swiss Canary

    Friday, August 3, 2012

  • On that post I had to swap A***nal for Gunners for it to go through... It's usually fairly obvious what is causing the ethering bud.

    Report this comment

    Scrimmage Canary

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

  • Haha, we'll send a memo to Colney. I like Morison a lot, but, I just feel that sometimes he doesn't put the effort in. Perhaps you're right and he only looks like that compared to Holty. Moro scored the last goal against gunners to secure 3 - 3. What a game that was. Fantastic result, but, I really feel we could or should have won it. I hope Moro proves me wrong and has a stormer this year!

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    Scrimmage Canary

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

  • more close season .what was the article about really.now back to the beach volleyball

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

  • Penfold dont forget this is the village monthly newsletter were reading ,OTBC

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    yarco

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

  • Haha, we'll send a memo to Colney. I like Morison a lot, but, I just feel that sometimes he doesn't put the effort in. Perhaps you're right and he only looks like that compared to Holty. Moro scored the last goal against Arsenal to secure 3 - 3. What a game that was. Fantastic result, but, I really feel we could or should have won it. I hope Moro proves me wrong and has a stormer this year!

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    Scrimmage Canary

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

  • Even the bit about Morrison? I guess I should or could have made some quip about him crossing over Carra Rud, going past the petrol station and back into the shop from whence he came, but, I generally like to follow Bambi's mum's advice of 'if you haven't got anything nice to say...'

    Report this comment

    Scrimmage Canary

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

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