April 25 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Chris Hughton insisted you can never doubt the fighting qualities of his Norwich City side after battling the elements and the loss of key players in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Crystal Palace.
Referee Mike Dean held two pre-match pitch inspections before declaring the Selhurst Park pitch playable following incessant wind and rain. Bradley Johnson’s cool first half finish belied the tricky conditions before Jason Puncheon levelled five minutes later. City lost Michael Turner to a suspected hamstring injury in the second half before Leroy Fer picked up a second yellow card late on that will rule him out of the FA Cup third round tie against Fulham. Norwich remained three points clear of the improving Eagles after a third unbeaten away league game on the spin.
“I look at my team every game and there might be times when you feel we could have been more creative and done better in an attacking sense but in this sort of game it is the character and the battling qualities of your side that you look to come through,” said Hughton. “It was a tough game and a tough day with the conditions. That is why there weren’t so many clear-cut chances. We had to show a lot of physicality and they had to cope with everything thrown at them. I think the way it went, having lost Michael Turner and then Leroy being sent off, and with the way that they play – its a very direct style - in the end I was pleased with the draw. Overall it is a good point if you look at the balance of the game.
“The real disappointment is that in taking the lead I felt we were the ones in general play who would carve something out, you then want to go in at 1-0 up. They got back into it and it gave them a lift. It was pretty end-to-end stuff.”
Hughton had no complaints with Fer’s two yellow cards after a late lunging challenge on Mile Jedinak followed a shove to concede the penalty but the City chief was adamant Marouane Chamakh also had to go after a tangle with Wes Hoolahan when he clearly grabbed the Irishman by the throat.
“He should have been sent off, there is no doubt about it,” said Hughton. “The referee had a very good view of it. The letter of the law says that if you put your hand to somebody’s face, that’s a sending off offence so he should have gone. When I spoke to the referee, he said that he didn’t feel the push was in his face. We’re a little bit aggrieved on that one, because at that stage of the game it certainly would have been an advantage for us. Credit to Wes, he didn’t try to get the lad sent off. He got straight back up so he never made a meal of it.
“I’ve no complaints with the key incidents that went against us. I think the lad got in front of Leroy on the penalty and in his desperation to try and retrieve the situation he ends up impeding the lad.”