Chris Hughton issues a warning to his Norwich City players

Fulham's Scott Parker celebrates his winner to sink Norwich City in the Canaries' 2-1 Boxing Day Premier League loss. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Fulham's Scott Parker celebrates his winner to sink Norwich City in the Canaries' 2-1 Boxing Day Premier League loss. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Friday, December 27, 2013
7:30 AM

Chris Hughton warned his Norwich City players they can forget about climbing the Premier League table if they do not show a ruthless edge after watching a sour Boxing Day 2-1 home defeat to Fulham.

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Gary Hooper’s deflected first-half opener provided the perfect platform to sink a hesitant Cottagers’ outfit missing the likes of Maarten Stekelenburg, Brede Hangeland, Philippe Senderos and Dimitar Berbatov through injury. Pajtim Kasami punished the hosts with a free-kick drifted through a porous home wall before Scott Parker’s thumping late winner denied Hughton’s squad a fresh chance to put clear daylight between themselves and the rest languishing in the bottom half.

“I didn’t think we started particularly well but I felt once we got the goal we kicked on from there,” said Hughton. “I felt we had two very good chances, one for Gary and one for Johan, but we conceded a very poor goal before half-time which gave them a lift. Whether it is a free-kick they work on specifically, it looked like (Steve) Sidwell was going to take it but it went through the wall and when that happens you are always disappointed. I don’t think they deserved to be 1-1 at the break. We threatened a lot in the second half with balls into the box but Fulham have good players and when it became very open they probably capitalised on that better than us.

“You still look at the teams below you because I think what you have to do is look at them and make that the incentive, to make sure you won’t be dropping down further than where you are. If you have that real fear of dropping down, then that should be all the encouragement and determination you need to keep pushing on and trying to look upwards.”

Hughton opted to retain the same starting line-up from the previous goalless draw against Sunderland before introducing both Wes Hoolahan and Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the second half to counter any criticism he was prepared to settle for another stalemate.

“I don’t think anybody can accuse us of not trying to win the game,” he said. “Wes came on, who is a more offensive player, and we had Hooper, Ricky and Nathan (Redmond) on the pitch. We attempted to win but we couldn’t find that right moment or create that chance. These are the things you’re always striving for. First and foremost it’s about making sure you’re putting the right 11 out on the pitch and getting the right performance out of them. Sometimes for whatever reason it doesn’t happen, and sometimes it does. You do the same work week in, week out, the same preparation.

“Players hit form or come back from injury. There are so many reasons why a team can have a poor period or a better period, and you just hope the work you do over a period of time eventually counts. That’s all you can do.”

Hughton was adamant City were denied a second half penalty when Elmander appeared to be shoved inside the Cottagers’ box.

“By the letter of the law it is a penalty, yes. I am not quite sure on the referee’s angle. It is certainly one perhaps many wouldn’t give but there is no doubt he was barged in the back,” said Hughton. “We just didn’t create a clear-cut second half chance. It was going to be the team who showed that little of quality or perhaps fortune and they did it through Parker’s goal.”

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26 comments

  • Its a very good question Hants, so here's my take, our manager is a bit like Captain Mainwaring, in other words, amateurish clueless, and capable of inspiring ridicule. His pervasive incapacity effects each and every one of the staff, and at all levels, apparently even the tea ladies are starting to produce a luke warm cuppa. Is it any wonder then that JR is becoming a shadow of his former self, and that the team as a whole prance about in the emperor's new clothes, like eighteenth century dandies?

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • For so many seasons I always looked forward to watching home games but this manager has slowly but surely beaten me down. My son and I went along yesterday fearing exactly what we got, a very poor team performance with no idea on how to win games. The midfield pair looked out of their depth against a 32 year old who ran rings around them. Both goals were soft and perhaps should have been saved by any keeper expecting to get to Brazil in the summer. Our lack of midfield cover really shows and we must bring in at least two quality ball winners in the window or we will be sunk. I have no doubt that the board will stick with their man as they failed to react after previous hammerings so the big question for me is, Can I be bothered to waste yet more precious money to watch drab poor quality football. I know fans do not really count in the Premiership but you may miss us down in the Championship next season.

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Seasonal greetings Wivenhoe and all genuine supporters. I will not enquire as to whether you had a good Christmas, as to do so would be to invite a decent punch on the nose, and we all got one of those at about 4.40pm yesterday. You mention the subject of motivation Wivenhoe, but my personal belief is that it needs to go deeper than that. Unfortunately, we have a manager who thinks that the best way to melt butter on a hot summer's day, is to put it in the fridge and be patient. Let's say for a moment that the manager is a teacher, and the players are the class. What exactly are they to make of this demonstration? Are they not bound to congregate together in sheltered corners, scratching their heads until they have very large bald patches? It is true that the absence of messrs Howson and Tettey doesn’t redeem their plight, but even they would struggle to understand the wisdom of a man who says, ‘Now chaps the floodlights are on the blink at the moment, so what I want you to do is tie your bootlaces together and huddle around the centre circle, that way, no one will get lost, and on no account should any man wander out to the wing or assume advance formation. Although I had no intention of painting our erstwhile manager as Captain Mainwaring, like some dreadful ogre, his particular form is rapidly becoming acutely identifiable. And at 3pm tomorrow, the team will all be wearing brown corduroy trousers and cycle clips. Before yesterday, I foolishly thought that Fulham were a corpse waiting to be buried, but they made a very astute signing, yes, that man Curbishley, and if anyone is more qualified than him to define the meaning of the word patience, then I am most certainly all ears. A man who might occasionally occupy a seat in the director’s box while gently tugging at the strings, completely invisible to the audience, but most carefully manipulating the entire performance, a man who sees thing very clearly, as opposed to a well meaning lost traveller who would do well to gain employment as a ‘Ramblers’ guide, given his propensity to continually glue his nose to a tree. One suspects it is time to embark on the cause of employing a new manager. I understand that one may be available at a moment’s notice

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • so....yet another uninspiring, rigid, mechanical performance. Who can be surprised anymore that this is what we are served up by a team lacking leadership, direction and inspiration. Occasional winning of a close game does not compensate for dull, under performing and losing or drawing most. Clearly the "manager" is unable to change this, and the coaching team unable to inspire. But my guess they are blaming the players. Poor managers always blame their staff i've found. The best managers are able to extract the maximum from theirs. Different staff require different management styles as they all react differently. Football players will be no different. Clearly our one trick pony of a management team, rigid and unable to change and can't understand that their one and only tactic isn't working, are blaming the players. I can't believe in this case that giving more time will heal all as their is no sign of improvement. Not all managers are good ones !!! ,,and finally....it worries me that with this brand we are offering the chances of securing the next era of supporters diminishes. Good luck with this "sales pitch" Mr McNally.

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    kpg24uk

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - he can commute into Norwich airport... Or Malky... But the players have to also take some responsibility for whats happening

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    Surrey Canary

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Fer should be used to the pace now.perhaps everton knew something we dont,as for elmander,get him on the next plane back to turkey!two midfielders,one centre back and a striker needed in january,desperately!

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    tonyb

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • I have not enjoyed the brand of football that we have being playing this season. Too predictable and too many off days. Just look how Hull City pull together and don't have the off days we continue to keep having, with so called lesser players. In my opinion, The game against Crystal Palace will be Hughton's day of reckoning.

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    Hurdy Gurdy Man

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Let's look at the simple stuff. This team, with arguably a better quality of player, looks nowhere near as competent or inspiring as the one that played in our first EPL season. The flair has gone...the belief has gone...and the results are going. From the managerial perspective I can recall a game under Paul Lambert when we had a man sent off and Lambert immediately took a defender off...put an attacking player on and went for the kill. That kind of inventiveness or brazeness if you like is beyond our current manager. To counteract the fact that we were overrunning them, Fulham pushed a defender into the midfield at about the 20 minute mark to make it harder for us to some forward...and would did our manager do? As I have said so many times there is no plan B We missed Johnny Howson in the last two games and consequently the opposition has been able to double team Leroy. Snodgrass has ability but has got to stop believing that he is the sole source of brilliance on the park...and I have no idea what is wrong with JR. Rather than Everton seeing issues with Fer...maybe we should consider that Newcastle saw the same problems with CH which is why they sacked him in apparently strange circumstances. Just sacking CH has its own implications including what replacements are available....but I fear that no change will see us relegated because our self belief has almost disappeared.

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    OzCanary

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Not a good idea to let this drag on beyond the transfer window.....Get rid of Chris after the Man U defeat and start again!

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    dave123

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • How strange is life. Just as quick as a snowdrop in spring us Norwich supporters are out in force singing the praises of the team when we win. But heaven forbid they drop a point - or two - or three we all complain and start blaming everything from our beloved Delia through to good old Chris. Come on we can't have it both ways - we are either as good as many of us used to claim - or we are c**p as many now claim. Make up your minds ad just for once show some consistency rather than the fickle see us in the good time Norwich supporters that we truly are.

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    What a Hoot

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • @What a hoot, you make it sound as though one has had the misfortune to get on a bus packed full of disobedient school children, one of whom has just dropped the most pungent odour. Most of us would take a deep breath, [though not too deep] safe in the knowledge that the assembled rabble would soon disperse into their rabbit hutches while we walk sturdily home in anticipation of the sumptuous Irish stew that awaits us. On opening the door our charming wife enquires ‘How was your day at the office darling’? whereupon you reply, ‘Oh the usual darling, nothing for you to worry your pretty little head about’, as you put your brolly back in the hallway stand. Sadly, although this particular omnibus quite clearly had Wymondham displayed as its destination, the blaggards omitted to tell us that written underneath were the fatal words ‘via Aberystwyth’ By the time the weather beaten charabanc reaches the Welsh coast, it will be all too obvious that this most unpleasant whiff has been polluting the airwaves for most if not all of the journey. Alas for some of us, even the prospect of a dramatic Welsh sunset is not enough to protect our sanity or our lungs. On reaching Wolverhampton we frantically descend the staircase, screaming madly ‘Driver pull over for heavens sake’s man that was Malky Mackay, on his ‘long walk to freedom’ from Cardiff. Finally free of the polluted bus, we approach the unmistakeable gentleman with the enquiry, ‘Good evening sir, you wouldn’t happen to know the way to Norwich.’ The fine fellow replies, ‘a course mate, as etappens I was just an muh wee tha’ Tullmeh, dyee know match abat the diamond formation’? Thinking carefully for a second, you reply, ‘With or without Wes Hoolahan in the hole?’

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • VictorM, what choices would you have made differently?

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Hmmm, I'm not sure about being a "good time supporter"....but I would like to see some of the self-deprecating amazement and belief in his team, as demonstrated by Steve Bruce, it certainly beats hearing how good the opposition are, rather than how good OUR canaries are.... BUT ! Can anyone tell me what is going on with John Ruddy ? flashes of inspiration interspersed with indescribable stupidity...it's like he's short-circuiting

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    Hants Canary

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • So lets get this right. Almost all the players who were on the pitch he has signed. He says that had an off day. Is it not the responsibility of the manager to motivate the players and make sure they are organised? The clue is in the word 'manager.' I would have liked him to succeed but it really is time to change as he has had quite long enough to get it all together. Surely even those who support him can see that?

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    andy

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Hughton and Bewilderwood and company should have been sacked first thing this morning. I wasnt a fan of bringing in Malky but he couldnt do any worse than Hughton. I will not be renewing my season ticket in January to save money, I just wont be buying one for the first time in ten years unless the board have the guts to get rid.

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    Jim

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • He's clutching at straws most of the time. After a struggling draw last match he chooses to keep t he same team. Brilliant. It's plain that he has no idea how to change the season long period of poor performances or to inject any positive motivation to the squad. He is totally incapable and should be sacked. If only the board had the bottle to do it. I fear they have not. We are going to get relegated.

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    VictorM

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Hurdy Gurdy Man, agree and have just posted similiar on another story. The Palace game is a huge one now both for the club and the manager. If it goes pear-shaped and the board don't act, then think i'll give up. The last three games have been so disappointing.

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    FXT Canary

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • wouldn't bother about giving too many warnings, as the sack is about to happen in next few weeks

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    billythebookie

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • C'mon Chrissy , its your job to motivate these players. and if you dont think they are motivated the answer is let some one who can motivate them join the coaching team.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • That's a fair assessment I think. So too were his earlier comments about the middle of the park. Johnson has hit his peak, Howson and Tetty out long term and Fer (like RvW and the ever-improving Hooper) needs time to get used the the pace of the PL. Midfield is where they need to invest. Either 6 month loans to fill the gap or permanent - ether way those players trying to make the step-up need support in the middle.

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    Dan

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Malky has finally been pushed out at Cardiff - now is our chance to get rid of the clowns at Carrow Road and get a manager of spirit and commitment who has always had a keen interest in Norwich .

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    VictorM

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Fact is, even when we have won games, we have not been convincing. We have had one or two lucky breaks which have just about seen us past the post. But at no time this season have we looked anything but a disjointed, dysfunctional, team. Our midfield is woeful and because they don't put in the required shift and get into the faces of our opponents, we are on the back foot all the time, which pressures the defence. In a league of this quality, nine times out of ten, that will cause us to ship goals. And because the midfield also offers nothing to anyone up front, we cannot respond when we go down because we cannot get the ball up front in the right places. So often as well our midfield simply hangs back and fails to offer any support when we try to go forward. As for playing a left footed play on the right wing all the time, words fail me! It is a hopeless mess and something that Hughton seems incapable of addressing. We need a manager who will organise and set the team up properly motivate them and make sure every single one of them puts in 100% effort and does their job. Unless or until this happens we will continue to slide towards the exit door. If the Board are satisfied with Hughton then we are doomed!

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    malaga flier

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • He's clutching at straws most of the time. After a struggling draw last match he chooses to keep t he same team. Brilliant. It's plain that he has no idea how to change the season long period of poor performances or to inject any positive motivation to the squad. He is totally incapable and should be sacked. If only the board had the bottle to do it. I fear they have not. We are going to get relegated.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Does Hughton have a laptop in the dugout because by his comments he was watching a completely different game to me or needs to go to specsavers ( other opticians are available ) Think the spectators are the ones who should be being paid not the other way round. Dreading Saturday. If I hadn't paid for my season ticket I would be staying away till something changes.

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    goldie

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Nathan Redmond is a player with great potential, but, until he learns how to pass and cross, at the right time and quality he will remain that, a player with potential. we have others in the squad who are clearly not going to progress any further. The defence, learn nothing from continues simple mistakes. First goal, schoolboy errors. Second goal no one near Parker. He should not have been on the pitch after that tackle on WvW. The two sending off, on Stoke players were nothing compared to this two footed, studs showing, tackle. Certain penalty on Elmander. The poor quality of last third movement and passing is now a lasting legacy for this squad. Why have these players let us and Chris Hughton down so much ? Are at least four of them incapable of learning anything ?

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    willb

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Hughton, stop blaming the players and look at your inept coaching and non-existent tactics. I guarantee that if Paul Lambert came back to Norwich, within a fortnight he would make this same bunch of players look a much classier side.

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    CanaryWest

    Friday, December 27, 2013

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

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