Hughes: We don't lack motivation
CHRIS LAKEY Andy Hughes has rejected suggestions that Norwich City players will have little left in the motivational tank now that the play-offs are all but a miracle away.
Andy Hughes has rejected suggestions that Norwich City players will have little left in the motivational tank now that the play-offs are all but a miracle away.
The Canaries midfielder insists motivation will not be a problem for a team needing to win all six of their remaining matches to even be in with a shout, let alone a guarantee, of a coveted top-six spot.
“If players were going through the motions they would be cheating themselves and cheating the fans,” said Hughes.
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“If I did that I would not have the right to play for Norwich City and I can guarantee if you said that to any players they would feel the same.
“You might lack a little motivation if you'd already won the league position, but not when you are fighting for your place in the team. We are all fighting for the right to play here next season.
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“And if you are not motivated to run out there in front of thousands of people and get paid for what you do, you need to have a good look at yourself.”
Norwich's play-off hopes still had some life in them on Friday night as they stepped out at Turf Moor, but after a good opening 20 minutes, the wind was taken out of their sails when Burnley scored - and it never blew again. Just to rub salt in City's wounds, results the following day actually went their way - but with games running out, even the most optimistic fan would be hard pressed to be preparing for an extension to the fixture schedule.
What was particularly galling for fans was that the inept show at Burnley came less than a week after the Canaries had beaten second-placed Sheffield United at the end of a run of seven games, and only one defeat.
“It was absolutely disappointing,” admitted Hughes. “From a personal point of view I don't think I played well, I kept giving the ball away and over the weekend I had a good look at myself and the way I performed - and I am sure other players did too. If I didn't do that I'd have no pride in what I do.
“There is nothing you can really say, sometimes things like that happen. But it's happened all season and we can't say it was a one-off. It happened at QPR and at Luton. We have got to learn what we are doing wrong and put it right.
“If you look at the weeks before the Burnley game we'd done well. We have to get back that consistency and knock out 10-15 games where we get, say, 11 wins.”
The task now is to defy the odds and make up a gap that currently stands at eight points.
“It's unfortunate we only have six games left, but if we can go unbeaten you don't know what will happen,” added Hughes. “We will definitely try our best.
“It's a tough task but we have to play two teams above us and we could well take points off them.
“The fans have to be optimistic. It's been hard this season for the players, getting used to playing Championship football again, which is 100mph stuff, but we are definitely not going to give up, we will be more than motivated.
“Today back at training we got together and had a chat and we will spend the week looking forward to Leicester on Saturday and how to beat them.”