March 12 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Chris Hughton accepts Norwich’s eight-point haul from their opening 10 Premier League games is a meagre return.
The Canaries host West Ham at Carrow Road this weekend stuck in the bottom three after a 7-0 rout at Manchester City that also inflicted a major dent to their goal difference. Norwich play the Hammers, Newcastle and Crystal Palace either side of the upcoming international break and Hughton knows the Canaries’ must target a positive run.
“I don’t sit and analyse where the points can come from,” he said. “Clearly we are not doing as well as I or the players or the fans would hope and expect. Last season we were in a similar situation and we managed to find that one spark and go on a run that can get you up the table very quickly. When we looked at the start of the season of course we wanted to do as well as we could but you know you are going to go through difficult periods when games are tougher than others. Last season we lost some games we shouldn’t have and probably won some we might not have been expected to. This is a tough league and that does not change.”
Hughton is making no attempt to disguise his concern at Norwich’s lowly league status.
“I wouldn’t say too much is being made about where we are because it is the business we are in. Football is a very emotional game. We all want to win, we don’t want to be in this position,” he said. “We can only act on the reality. You certainly have to have broad enough shoulders to cope with criticism and confidence in the team to make improvements to get the results.
“I think the league generally is tighter this season. It feels more tight, more competitive and I have said recently there has been more away wins at this stage than last year. You have a lot of competition at the top end with Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton now fighting and the same applies across the rest of the league.”
Hughton will hope to welcome back some of his injured stars for the Hammers’ visit with Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Nathan Redmond and Robert Snodgrass all pushing for a return after missing the Manchester mauling.
“Robert still had some slight after effects from his concussion and you have to be 100% clear. He wasn’t,” said Hughton. “Nathan wasn’t close to being fit for the (Manchester City) game. He was too sore. Snodgrass will be available this week and we will push Nathan to see if we can get him back as well.”