Chris Hughton - Hull City red card did Norwich City no favours

The dismissal of Hull's Yannick Sagbo ultimately did Norwich City few favours at the KC Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images The dismissal of Hull's Yannick Sagbo ultimately did Norwich City few favours at the KC Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, August 26, 2013
6:23 AM

Hull’s first-half dismissal may have inadvertently worked against the Canaries, according to City boss Chris Hughton.

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The Tigers retreated to the edge of their own penalty area for long spells following Yannick Sagbo’s straight red card with Norwich on the day lacking the guile and the penetration to break down a well-drilled home defence.

Tigers’ keeper Allan McGregor was only sporadically pressed into action with Norwich largely restricted to long-range efforts.

“We pushed and pushed but we have experienced the same thing ourselves when you are down to 10 men and you have to play a certain way and be resilient and play on the break. Hull managed to do that,” said Hughton. “They got bodies behind the ball. We needed to show more to test the goalkeeper. We tried everything we could but Hull were spirited and going down to 10 men almost gave them a cause.

“I didn’t see the incident at the time but I have seen it afterwards and the referee was five or six yards away. The lad has moved his head, that is a certainty, and then it is how the referee interprets that. Russell (Martin) didn’t make much of it but that is the type of player he is. I’ve not spoken to Russell so I don’t know what triggered it. The referee has to make a decision.”

Hughton will make changes for Tuesday’s Capital One Cup tie against Bury. Sebastien Bassong and Anthony Pilkington could both be in contention for a return from injury-hit pre-seasons. City’s squad for today’s latest development league home test against Fulham at Colney is set to provide further clues. Bassong played the full 90 minutes in last week’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa’s Under-21s. City opened up their development league campaign with a thumping 4-1 win against Stoke’s under-21s at Colney earlier this month; Josh and Jacob Murphy both on target.

• Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan were yesterday both named in the Republic of Ireland’s provisional 29-man squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Sweden – who could include Norwich duo Johan Elmander and Martin Olsson – and Austria. Pilkington’s injury problems have forced him to withdraw from the last four squads. Hoolahan started the Republic’s last World Cup qualifier when they beat the Faroe Islands 3-0 in Dublin.

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