Chris Hughton defends his right to twist after Norwich City’s Premier League loss at Southampton

Ricky van Wolfswinkel was one of five changes to the Norwich City starting line up at Southampton. 
Picture by Daniel Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Ricky van Wolfswinkel was one of five changes to the Norwich City starting line up at Southampton. Picture by Daniel Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, March 17, 2014
7:00 AM

Chris Hughton defended his decision to make wholesale changes to his Norwich City line-up after slumping to a 4-2 Premier League defeat against slick Southampton.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

"“You generally know what your best XI is but we have competition here and I wanted to use it. We have a lot of players who have played a lot of games and our form has been disappointing.”"

Chris Hughton

Hughton brought in five new players from the previous week’s Stoke stalemate, but there was no discernible improvement with Johan Elmander and Robert Snodgrass’ late two-goal salvo failing to mask the hosts’ overall superiority. Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez looked to have put them out of sight before the visitors’ threatened an improbable comeback, which was ended by teenage striker Sam Gallagher’s first senior league goal for his club.

Captains Seb Bassong and Russell Martin were part of the cull but Hughton was adamant he made the right call in searching for that spark to ignite the club’s faltering survival bid over the run-in.

“We have lacked that consistency which is why I made a few changes,” said Hughton. “I wanted to give others an opportunity to come in and put pressure on the lads they were replacing. What you can do as a manager is prepare during the week, set the team up but you are then reliant on good individual displays. It was a reaction to form. We did well with a couple of clean sheets but then we were disappointed with the Stoke result and sometimes you just feel you want to freshen things up, irrespective of the time of the season.

“You generally know what your best XI is but we have competition here and I wanted to use it. We have a lot of players who have played a lot of games and our form has been disappointing. They are all difficult decisions whenever you change the team but we have others who are fit and pushing to be in the team and competition in the squad and all I try to do is pick the best side for each opponent.”

City shipped four goals for the second consecutive away outing in the Premier League and Hughton knows that trend threatens their top flight existence.

“Yes, it is a concern,” he said. “Circumstances were a little bit different in how we did it but the fact we conceded three goals gave us a real mountain to climb. When you look at goals of course as a manager you look at areas you could have done better. In a game where we conceded three they could have been avoided - the second particularly.

“I think the last goal is obviously a slip from Alex (Tettey) so you can not apportion blame in those circumstances as we were pushing for an equaliser. What makes it even hard to takes is the fact whichever fashion we did it we scored a couple of goals away from home and that is generally something we have not been able to do on the road.”

Hughton admitted City’s late two-goal burst had flattered the Canaries at St Mary’s.

“If the game had finished 3-2 or we had nicked a third it was something we didn’t deserve. They were certainly far better than us,” he said. “A very good Southampton team were better than us for the majority of the game, but if you concede goals like we did it makes life difficult for yourselves.

“Credit to our lads they showed character and spirit to get the two goals back at the end and obviously made it a tighter scoreline but they deserved the points they got. It certainly flattered us because the damage had been done before those two late goals.”

Latest Norwich City stories

54 comments

  • And the award for "Dullard of the Day" goes to.........TootyFrooty.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • G`day\G`night, Adelaide. I`ve never been much good with technology. I recently broke my old wind-up watch, I think I broke the mainspring by doing too much winding up ;-) I have one half-decent battery powered watch, but the battery was kaput. So I reverted to a geriatric, self-winding Tissot, circa 1974, but, for some reason or other, I overwound that, too ;-) What a w@nker... So I`ve splashed out £3.50 for a battery for the semi-modern one! Piece in our Time.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • "“You generally know what your best XI is but we have competition here and I wanted to use it. We have a lot of players who have played a lot of games and our form has been disappointing." Statement from Hoots! If he says this often enough we could begin to believe it. Very doubtful if he knows what day of the week it is! Enter this comment in a competition for Christmas cracker jokes.

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • three teams have to be relegated they all cant stay up so why not Norwich to be relegated

    Report this comment

    Steven Collins

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • .....He may be able to Twist!...but he hasn't a clue as to which way to Turn!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • .....There must be more to this than meets the eye Brew!....Is he a manager with his hands tied?.....Is he the front guy for Calderwood?...Is Delia trying out a new recipe and picking the team?...Something smells ...No one person could make so many mistakes unaided.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Dobby, PLEASE. Some punctuation. Even a token comma here and there. I have to move my lips when I read, and I just can't hold my breath long enough to get through a complete post. I must come up for air occasionally. You do understand, don't you?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Spot on Brew, For me it was stupidity to make 5 changes from the team that managed to draw with Stoke where the main cause of the defeat was the off form Bassong. I am certainly not a fan of Martin but he done nothing wrong in that match to be dropped. Likewise Pilkington looks so off form what was the point of dropping Redmond. Two or maybe three changes are probably much more sensible after a draw. We should have rung the changes after the Villa defeat instead, so once again the management reaction was too late. The daft thing is, I would make four changes for the next game however as I think Yobo needs to be rested, Martin needs to return, as does Hoolahan and Redmond.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • So, Tutti frutti, your point is...? On the stupid donkey issue, you really shouldn`t be so hard on yourself. Chill.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • You are correct Mad Brewer I misread my chronometer. Now they have time left to get rid of him by 1100!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • It seems to me that nearly every deeply considered and calculated decision CH makes is the wrong one. Now that takes some doing.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • And hence my comment about "Dullard of the Day". Coincidentally, "Dullard" has two meanings: (1) A dull person, and (2) an equine quadruped with a bovine head, the stature of a small mule and a tendency to expel disproportionate amounts of pungent effluvia.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • If Becchio is good enough to be on the bench (which he usually is, although not last Saturday), then he's good enough to play. I'm not saying that Becchio should necessarily have replaced Elmander, after all no one knows if he's any good. I'm simply saying that Hughton's comment about ringing the changes, rotating the squad, using the competition within the squad etc etc.......is a load of tosh.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • The Board members do not appear to GAF. For whatever covert reason, Hughton is untouchable, it seems. Goddammit, he`s WORSE than Roeder! Roeder had no money to spend and unsuccessfully played the loan market, but Hughton has splashed £14m on two strikers who are on strike. His loan players, in order of merit; Yobo (fair enough), Elmander (!) and Gutierrez (sicknote) are of varying effectiveness. Decent players have left for free or for sweet FA. Young talent, like Jed Steer & Tom Adeyemi, make their escape. Maybe at the root of it, it`s out of Hughton`s control; he`s a just nice, compliant fall-guy with a lucrative contract. Useless manager.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I think you`re an hour `fast` Adelaide! I`m probably repeating myself repeating myself, but the fact that Hughton simultaneously dropped his two `Captains` is a strong indication of the low importance he places on the role of on-pitch leader. With the total lack of off-pitch leadership, that leaves us leaderless, as well as clueless and gutless.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Fair shout there, Blaffen. But surely that award should come, yesterday, from Fagen, the scourge of Dullards everywhere. I believe `they` won`t sack Hughton because the worm might turn.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Ive been censored!!!

    Report this comment

    Hants Canary

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I am not complaining about changes, just the fact that they made no difference whatsoever. As ever Hughton got it wrong with the line-up which as usual had wrong-sided wingers, therefore no service from that area, and no Hoolahan, the only player in the squad who can made openings for the front men through the centre. As soon as I saw the teamsheet I knew we were done for. It took just 5 minutes for the rot to start to set in. We looked like losers and we played like losers which is so often the case. The team have got the losing habit and with Hughton failing to make any correct decisions the writing is on the wall, large and clear.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • It's 1100 am UK time Monday 17th, has Hughton been sacked? if not what excuse does the board have? Or are they gutless?

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Mad Brewer Will keep my old timepiece it tells me it's bedtime here almost 2300 when I wake up in the morning, I hope to read you know who has gone, wishful thinking. Having been a supporter for 69 years, I cannot remember seeing the clubteam in such turmoil. Then in the past there wasn't quite so much at stake as with the PL. GN.

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • How long does it take McNally to say "Thanks for your efforts Chris, Goodbye" It's coming up to lunchtime. Go on, do it by text if you have to.

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Hello Willem, née billy! Glad to see you are still extant. I failed to progress my own Netherland conversion because Archie`s computer said `No`. Anyway, since our Dutch imports have turned out to be a pair of tulips, I`m not too concerned. Gek Brouwer.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Totally agree. I was there at St Marys for that humiliation....what is the point of putting out a "team" of strangers? Saints were not good or stronger than us. Just that we were so very very poor that any team would have looked good against us. The goals conceeded were as a result of our defence taking a hike. There was nothing good in this game. Hoots should be ashamed with that performance, which demonstrated more than any his lack of ideas, management skills and the weakness of HIS support team. Recon we are on the way back to league 1.

    Report this comment

    Hants Canary

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • You are correct mad Brewer I misread my chronometer. Now they have time left to get rid of by 1100!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • What a load of tosh yes you can make 5 changes but if it fails spectacularlly take the blame you fool

    Report this comment

    Burglecut

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Yes Chris you're quite the risk taker, with your 3 holding midfielders and pinned back wingers.

    Report this comment

    Willem

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • They won't sack Hughton because, in my opinion, they have targeted Neil Lennon (Mackay is a secondary choice). Lennon would not come to us unless he knew we were going to be in the Premier League next season (who could blame him?). We could get a stop-gap (maybe looking within the club?) but they now have such little time to change this defensive mindset. In addition, I believe we now lack the talent to play any other way, anyhow! Snodgrass, Johnson, Tetley, RvW, Salamander, etc. all lack any kind of consistent first touch and therefore one touch football is out of the question. Any technically goodcreative player is currently out of form, annoyed or not match fit (thanks, Chris). I believe the board were close to sacking Hootun earlier in the season but (very fortunate) wins against West Ham and then Hull kept him in a job. If this is all true, it is a very poor show because it was blindingly obvious that those wins were exceptions amongst terrible results and insipid performances. I cannot stand Hughton. I'm still trying to decide if his lack of sense in squad selection and tactics is down to arrogance, or stupidity. Snodgrass and Johnson ALWAYS seem to be exempt from the cull. Positive results without Snodgrass in particular still don't seem to mean anything to Chrissy boy. The best we have played recently was against Man. City at home (Pilkington came in for Snodgrass). Next game, Snodgrass returned and we were awful again. Despite the apparent lack of options for a replacement manager, I still vote 'Hughton out' because I believe this would galvanize the crowd for home games. This, together with proper squad selection (please drop Johnson or Tettey for Howson or Fox!) could be enough to fire the team up and get us over the line.

    Report this comment

    Matey

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • The reason why we are failing, is because there are not enough Ethnic Managers in charge of Football Clubs....... and if there all as good as CH, I wonder why....

    Report this comment

    OLDYELLA

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • They daren`t sack him, kenfoggo. He knows where the bodies are buried. Machianalli has to tread carefully to avoid being savaged by a turning worm. Adelaide, get shot of that Cromermeter thing and git yerself a decent five-quid watch orf the back o` the maaarkut! ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Time to go.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I'm loving the irony in “We have lacked that consistency which is why I made a few changes.” Completely agree with baguio; get rid of him and give us the chance of staying up.

    Report this comment

    sparky22

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Baguio, in the context of the £8.5 million he spent on One Goal Winkel, the cost of Hughton`s departure seems not so bad. Smudger, that `stupidity` thing was madness\insanity, I think. Though your version is equally true. I suppose `optimism` fits too. The ultimate delusion. I don`t think the Board will hoof Hughton now. For some reason they seem afraid of him. Unlike opposing teams.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Happens all the time, Hants Canary. On the Pochettino article, I dared to refer to the `c0ckiness` word used therein. As you see, I had to doctor the word to get it past the censors. They may use it but readers may not. Sad b******s.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Before the game, when I heard he had made 5 changes I was actually encouraged and thought maybe, just maybe, they had a cunning plan to try and eek out a point or three...Then I watched the game. That folks, sums up our time with CH at the helm.

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Scoring two goals away from home is nothing to crow about or take the credit for when said goals are gift wrapped and placed on a silver platter for you by the opposition! Fair enough, those players took those chances when presented with them, but we had little to do with their creation, and any 'character' or 'spirit' only really appeared once the second had gone in!

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Hello Willem, née billy! Good to see you are still about. I failed to progress my own Dutchification `cos the computer said `No`. Anyway, since our Dutch imports have turned out to be a pair of tulips, I`m not too concerned now. Gek Brouwer.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Must go and watch The IT Crowd. Archant`s lot make them look good.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • I wonder if we might defend better if we switched to a three man central defence, we could try Yobo to the right, Bennett in the centre and Bassong to the left. Bennett could almost act as a sweeper, either in front of the other two or behind them. We certainly have a good wing back in Olsson and either Martin or Whittaker could do the right hand side. I would give Snodgrass a game in the hole behind Hooper as he at least can hit the target given a half decent chance. I know most fans do not like him but it is a position he played more than once for Leeds and I actually think he was brought to our club with this position in mind.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • CH states City are inconsistent. I stongly disagree. City are very consistent. Once the players take to the pitch they consistlenty make mistakes, consistently have no fight and most consistently cannot score goals and win matches.Ch you have produced an extremely consistent team.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Another dismally performance and another deaf why don't Delia Smith and her board eat humble pies a amit they got it wrong in appointing and standing by Hughton as manager . The players just don't care if city go down if they did care they won't put one after the other bad performance they know they still get payed a big salary compaired to us fans and they also know that some of them will leave Norwich if they went down.But as i have said i can't under stand the board backing Hughton for so long and so much at stack the club are going to lose £100million income next season all other managers that have put city in this state before have been sacked so what hold do Hughton have over this board. Or is there someone out there who are going to pay city far more than sky to get relegated.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I can only assume the Board have assumed that we are more or less certainly going to be relegated if not CH would surely have been sacked.

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Stew, perhaps, when `The Lambo Diaries` are published, we`ll find out a bit more about the malaise at Carra Rud.... I can`t imagine Lambo being willing to go along with something he did not like, whereas a `nice` man like Chrissy is, perhaps. `Hyacinth` Bowkett labelled Lambo `the most impatient man I`ve ever worked with`. Well, Hughton`s a `patient` man all right, but he appears to be in a coma just now.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Agree on bassong being dropped as he should have been for the stoke game,but drop martin as well?we were playing a footballing side who play with a bit of flair,so to have half your defence changed was foolish.we would have got away with it v stoke probably how they play.Their will have to be changes this week but CH doesnt know his best eleven so names out of the hat time!

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • You armchair Managers really are a boring lot...always moaning and whinging about what CH should do....play this person up front....dont play this person etc etc....yawn..Zzzzzz Fact is the same old moaners will still go to Carrow Rd week and week out....hence my comment about stupid donkeys....

    Report this comment

    Tootyfrooty

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Aha be "Cool" old chap one day it will all stop

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Boy

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • I beleave that the Delia Smith and the board have already expected that city are going down and they have draw up plans for life back in the championship . All down because they can amit they got it wrong again in appointing Hughton there pride get in the way or don't have the gust to say they where wrong and would rather lose £ 80 millions plus in revenue a big cheer for Delia and the city board got it wrong again..

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Yes I have, Norfolk Boy (thanks for asking), but it's the voices......I can't stop the voices.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • You are probably right MB, but as you say, it kind of fits.

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Have you just `outed` a new Dullard Pair there, Blaffen? Norfolk Boy vs Tooty Frooty. Both as sharp as the obverse side of a spoon.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Somebody posted on here not so long back that the definition of stupidity is to continuously do the same things while expecting different results each time. Just throwing that out there.....

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • We're well aware that he's under contract Tootyfrooty (What a ridiculous comment). Staying in this league is worth approx. £60M. With this clown in charge yes we're almost guaranteed to go down. Sack him and get in someone with some idea and we just might stay up. I would say that's it's worth a punt wouldn't you? CH wouldn't cost much to get rid of in the grand scheme of things. To most Norwich fans it's a no brainer. You have a little think about though!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Ok...lets try again..... I was there at St Marys. At least I turned up. NCFC didnt. Saints were not good at all. However, we were so very very poor that we would have made anyone look good. Look at the bigger picture here. We are so abysmally bad now that premier league survival is pretty unlikely. What about Chumpionship survival next year???.....not without a massive change of attitudetactics footballing nous. How quickly we have forgotten how to succeed.

    Report this comment

    Hants Canary

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Taken your medication today BW

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Boy

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Yes...sack CH.....cost the club a squid load of money (he is under contract remember!!) and then GUARANTEE NCFC position in the championship next season. Some fans have the brains of a particularly stupid donkey!

    Report this comment

    Tootyfrooty

    Monday, March 17, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT