Norwich City going places, insists Hughes

PUBLISHED: 11:32 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:37 10 September 2010

Stephen Hughes in action at Elland Road on Monday night. Picture: Paul Thomas / Focus Images

Stephen Hughes in action at Elland Road on Monday night. Picture: Paul Thomas / Focus Images

David Cuffley

Midfielder Stephen Hughes was today still trying to take in Norwich City's League One defeat at Leeds - not least because he missed the awful moment when the point they felt they had earned was allowed to slip away.

Midfielder Stephen Hughes was today still trying to take in Norwich City's League One defeat at Leeds - not least because he missed the awful moment when the point they felt they had earned was allowed to slip away.

The Scotland international did not see Jermaine Beckford's stoppage-time winner at Elland Road on Monday night as he had been substituted seconds earlier and had his back to the action when City goalkeeper Fraser Forster's miscued goal-kick went straight to the grateful striker.

“I never even saw the goal. I'd just come off, turned round and the ball was in the back of the net,” said Hughes, recalled to the starting line-up in place of the injured Korey Smith.

“We're disappointed, absolutely gutted. I think we dominated a Leeds side who are now top of the league.

“I think anybody who watched the game would tell you we were the better side and we felt comfortable. We felt we could go on and win it.

“At the end we would have taken a point - that's a good result. But it's unfortunate they managed to nick it, which I thought was a bit harsh.”

The 26-year-old Hughes made way for Matthew Gill, making his first senior appearance for two months, a minute into injury time in the only substitution made on the night by manager Paul Lambert. Forster was troubled by a back problem but stayed on to the end.

But as City prepare to face Swindon Town at Carrow Road on Saturday, Hughes said there was plenty of cause for optimism.

“We've played a good Leeds team and at times passed them off the park, so I don't think it's a step backwards. We're still confident. We're looking to Saturday's game to bounce back,” he said.

“We've been beaten 2-1 but our confidence will remain high and we'll look forward to Saturday and trying to get back to winning ways. I've not played a lot of football - not as much as I'd like this season - so it was good to get 90 minutes under my belt and I hope I've done enough to keep myself in the team for Saturday. Leeds took their chances and they're top of the league. We can only worry about ourselves. I think we're going in the right direction. We'll be there or thereabouts. It's a long season and there are a lot of twists and turns still to happen.”

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