Norwich taking nothing for granted - Stephen Hughes
David Cuffley Goalscorer Stephen Hughes sounded a note of caution after Norwich City chalked up their second successive League One victory under new boss Paul Lambert.
Goalscorer Stephen Hughes sounded a note of caution after Norwich City chalked up their second successive League One victory under new boss Paul Lambert.
The 26-year-old Scot wrapped up the Canaries' 2-0 win over Hartlepool United at Victoria Park when he put the finishing touch to a swift counter-attack after 63 minutes, his first goal for the club.
After a 5-2 home win over Wycombe in Lambert's first match in charge, the visit of Walsall to Carrow Road next Saturday appears to offer City a good chance of a hat-trick of league successes under the new regime.
But despite helping his new club into the top half of the table, midfielder Hughes warned: “We don't take anything for granted. We need to work - you saw how hard we had to work today to get the points and it will be the same again next week.
“I hope we can get another three points and get ourselves back up to the right end of the league.
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“It was a good result in the league last week and we had to follow it up, but we knew this was going to be difficult - a difficult place to come.”
Defender Michael Nelson put City ahead after 26 minutes with a spectacular bicycle kick against his old club. Hughes' goal came as Jens Berthel Askou, Paul McVeigh and Grant Holt fashioned a quick break from a Hartlepool corner.
“We won it and broke forward and I'd seen the space,” said Hughes. “Holty held it up for me and I just managed to get in the box and thankfully put it past the 'keeper. It put us 2-0 up which at the time was a big goal for us.
“Even at 2-0, especially at a place like this, you're still not safe but it was good to have that cushion. I thought the boys played well today. We stuck as a unit and I think if we keep playing like that we won't be far away.
“I'm delighted for Michael. It was an excellent goal. If any striker had scored that they'd still be talking about it. It was a great finish. I thought he was different class - him and Jens, the whole back four. I thought as a unit everybody played their part.”
The praise extended to goalkeeper Fraser Forster, on loan from Newcastle, making his debut in place of the injured Ben Alnwick.
“He met us only last night and he came in today and doesn't even know any of the boys and I thought he was brilliant,” said Hughes.
“He commanded his box and, fair play to him, he did really well.”
Hughes, who was an unused substitute in the Carling Cup defeat by Sunderland last Monday, must now wait to see if he figures in Lambert's plans for tomorrow night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round match at home to Brentford (7.45pm).
“The manager keeps his cards close to his chest and everybody works hard in training. There are a lot of midfielders and everybody's competing for a place,” said Hughes. “I probably missed a few games in pre-season but my fitness feels good. I've worked hard in the summer and worked hard since I came back so I'd just like to stay in the team now and I hope we can keep winning.”