Norwich City’s stellar 10-match Premier League unbeaten run has forced Chris Hughton to face another line of post-match questioning in recent weeks.

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Victory over Wigan - courtesy of Wes Hoolahan’s headed reply to Shaun Maloney’s leveller following Anthony Pilkington’s first half finish - moved City into the top seven and closer to the scrap for European glory than a relegation battle.

But Hughton reiterated there is no temptation to look up instead of down with a festive period that brings games against West Brom, Chelsea and champions Manchester City.

“No. We’re doing okay at the moment,” he said. “That is the best way for us. We know how we have to compete in every game. If that is the case then we have a chance of doing okay but we must not lose sight of the reality. For me it is very easy (to stay focused). I know where we are as a football club and where other clubs are and the budgets they have. We, as a team, have to work very hard for everything we get.

“There will certainly be no getting carried away here or amongst that group. The benefit I have is they are a very level-headed, down-to-earth group. For those clubs that can spend big money on quality, we are showing plenty of quality within our own work ethic, but if we fall away from that then we have every chance of getting beat.”

Hughton is equally adamant that mindset will not change the nearer the Canaries edge to the accepted wisdom of a 40-point survival mark.

“I’m honestly not thinking anything apart from the next game. I don’t think we can do it in any way different,” he said. “It’s the next game – every game is still such a tough game for us and we have to be on top of our game to win any match. We have to be disciplined in every game to get our points. If we’re able to do that, we have got quality. We know that. But it’s got to be based on a really good team ethic, a good hard-working ethic and a team that has to try to be as disciplined as we can.”

Hoolahan is the added extra at Hughton’s disposal; with the Irishman showcasing every facet of his extensive repertoire – and more besides – on the day when the club officially confirmed the 30-year-old had signed a contract extension to keep him at Carrow Road until at least 2015. “Tackling, headed goals he can do everything,” said Hughton. “He has earned it. And the only way you do that is by performing well enough and Wes has certainly done that. I am probably more pleased for Wes than anyone else. It was not even a question of his future or leaving here. He certainly never showed any desire to leave here. It was all about getting a longer deal for himself and we’re delighted with that.

“He is in very good form at the minute and this is not just for what he has done this season but in the period of time he has been at the football club. I thought he was excellent and to see him get a headed goal was worth the entrance fee alone.”

Hoolahan’s leap should have put Norwich well out of sight on the balance of play, but City were indebted to Sebastien Bassong’s ability to sense danger when he foiled Arouna Kone in stoppage time.

“I was probably more annoyed than anything about that because at 2-1 I felt the game should have been out of sight and they shouldn’t have had that opportunity,” said Hughton. “If they had scored and it ended up 2-2 we would have been kicking ourselves. Seb has been excellent for us from day one, not only on the pitch but around the club and he certainly showed his true quality there.”

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46 comments

  • @Pa Snipps. You are of course encouraged to share your thoughts and opinions. But to believe that your posts on a Archant website has any influence on decisions made at Carrow road is ridiculous. I'm sure Norfolk has lots of amateur football clubs crying out for you managerial expertise. OTBC

    Report this comment

    The Yellow Yachtie

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Certainly not MB, im not clever enough to waffle on these matter. But maybe a little underlay in the 6 yard box would bolster our defence and allow us to kicker on to the next level, I really dont want us wilton in the new year and would like us to stretch all our opponents defences and pile on more pressure.

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    spanishcanary

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • To Mad Brewer...Thanks for your support, We are not alone on this planet! …..As far as the last ten results are concerned, things are excellent ….but with a more balanced and organised attack, they could have been even better!

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Seasonal Ho-Hoos for the flooring jests, spanish.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Fortunately Wes DIDN'T keep his feet on the ground but rose majestically to out jump the Wigan defence. Whatever next? A right foot wiinner against Man City?

    Report this comment

    Pondlife

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Hey Spanish got any good bargains or do you fancy a yarn !

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • I give up. The Davitt Defence League is blocking everything, it seems.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • What was the Epiphany that Hoots had after about 6 games this season. Was it the picking of Hoolahan, or was it some greater force. And while i am being a boring old fart why did it take the early results to stimulate the transfer activity that produced Bassong and Tettey.-isnt that what the close season is for- but having said that Hoots has gone from 'does he know what he is doing' to Yes he does. Oh and to prove ive completely lost it Chris martin is currently cutting it in a recording studio. Ps last year we baet the Baggies on their own park, here's to the repeat

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • @ Brewer... I don't recall getting my ballot slip for the vacant city post back in the summer... But I would have 'elected' hoots. OTBC

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    The Yellow Yachtie

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • @pubmandave.... I really didn't want to reward your drivel with comment but I couldn't help myself..... Your quote 'NCFC Fans don't know what PL football is all about'.... Well if it's all about crooked billionaires buying you false titles and a team of Racist, overpaid, spoilt chavs then you are right. I would gladly forgo my teams prem status than support a regime such as yours.. Chelsea are a disgrace to english football and a real indicator of how far this great game has fallen.. I can't wait to send you back to the kings road on boxing day screaming for Benitez head... OTBC

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    The Yellow Yachtie

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Too many non-stories Archant! You publish a good one from Paddy Davitt, it then recieves comments from us, and is then put on the back burner.Why? It denies others from reading the comments made....So let me re-submit one I presented earlier...."Hughton is now reaping the reward of what he should have done from day One. ...He overlooked Wes Hoolahan at the beginning, and needed the imput from myself and others pushing for his inclusion. Hughtons early failures were halted with the reintroduction of Wes, coupled with the “Chevron”, which gives Wes a large area to work in behind Holt and between two left sided and two right sided players. This suits his style of play. What needs to rectified now is for Snodgrass and Pilkington to swap wings, and give us a perfectly balanced side, able to provide crosses to our currently starved Centre Forward Grant Holt. His goal opportunities will improve enormously".

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    Pa Snipps

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • @ Paddy- Hoots has managed a Premiership team before. He took Newcastle up from the Championship. They then sacked him because they were "only" 11th in the table.

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    Timbo

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Hi guys, its a long time since i posted, got a little fed up with the trolls and the negative posts. I am, and will always be a NCFC supporter whatever the situation and whatever the result, just like the majority of people who post here!! There are always some great comments and well balanced opinions, but what i find hard to take is the arrogance that sometimes raises its head. I have opinions too, but I run a carpet shop out here in Spain, not a football team, so i think ill leave that job to Hoots. Not once has he posted on my website and told me how to run my business OTBC and thanks Mr Hoots for coming to Norwich.

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    spanishcanary

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • That`s very true, Timbo. Also Hughton served a long "apprenticeship" on the coaching staff at Spurs and was, I think, Assistant Manager under Martin Jol for a while? Could it be an example of the "Tortoise and Hare" syndrome. Hoots has been patient in learning his craft. Patience is, apparently, not a quality his predecessor is renowned for, at least according to Chairman Alan Buckett. ;-) Btw, I don`t think we would ever go into a game now looking for just damage limitation. Had we done that, Arsenal & ManU would have murdered us. I`m beginning to realise what a clever wordsmith Hoots is. Every day`s a schoolday. IHWT.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Well said Johnny - no one likes a know-it-all. Hoots wanted to play with 2 up in the early games. It wasn't working. He knew that, so changed it. Wes is playing great, but so too are Tettey, Bassong, Garido and Whittiker - all CH signings. He's also been fortunate to be able to field a pretty settled side, week in week out. I'm a big fan of the manager, but I'm still waiting to see a plan B from him. Injury to Holt may force his hand. Presumably Morrsion will be given the chance to step in?

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    canarydownunder

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Welcome to the parade Yellow Yachtie!...Been there, Done That! as the saying goes. Probably years before you were born!....Maybe Hughton doesn't take any notice of the contributions on here. Perhaps he lives in isolation in a glass case, but don't you get the feeling that a small amount of our comments reaches him from time to time? I firmly believe that the Hoolahan saga was brought to his attention, and opened his eyes just a tiny bit

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Pa Snipps (or should that be 'Snippy') is almost as delusional as Senor Martinez.

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    ScotCan

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Remove all content = No Problem. :-(

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Warped you may be, but isn't the discussion about who should play on the Weft Wing?

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • There's some really difficult fixtures coming up. West Brom are a different side to the one we faced last season, Chelsea and Man City we may as well consider as losses now, and West Ham is very tricky. I would be happy with 2 points from those four, how about anyone else? I had to laugh today when I read a comment from a Liverpool supporter who said "I don't understand the big fuss about Norwich's unbeaten streak, they're a nothing team".

    Report this comment

    wisemanthree

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Btw, I`m sure Lawro wears a rug.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • To Scot Can I think you are drinking too much Haggis, and eating too much F Grouse

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    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • @ Pa Snipps.... I remember playing against a team once in the 80's that sported the chevron formation.... Possible that you were at the helm? Christmas is the time for dreaming, so keep telling yourself your pink un words of wisdom are influencing the carra rud dressing room. Chestnuts roasting by a open fire....OTBC

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    The Yellow Yachtie

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • By way of redress Wiseman a Man U friend of mine sent me this gem......." Who dresses all in red + no-one believes in..? Liverpool FC ! ".

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    Timbo

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • I like Chris Hughton's attitiude although I have read in this column that some people find him too negative. I think he's very grounded and realistic. Norwich are sneaking up the table under the radar. The pundits were full of how well the likes of West Ham and Swansea are doing this season without seeming to register that we have more points than both teams. Having listened to a dour game between West Brom and West Ham yesterday I fancy our chances at The Hawthorns on Saturday. Just hoping we haven't lost Holty for a few weeks. That would be a big blow.

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    Flying Canary

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Well said Johnny - no one likes a know-it-all. Hoots wanted to play with 2 up in the early games. It wasn't working. He knew that, so changed it. Wes is playing great, but so too are Tettey, Bassong, Garido and Whittiker - all CH signings. He's also been fortunate to be able to field a pretty settled side, week in week out. I'm a big fan of the manager, but I'm still waiting to see a plan B from him. Injury to Holt may force his hand. Presumably Morrsion will be given the chance to step in?

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Just unearthed this quotation from Sol Campbell @ the time Hughton left Newcastle. Wise words indeed!...."It makes no sense. Here is a guy who has done an unbelievable job ". Newcastle defender Sol Campbell

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    Timbo

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Is it "Open Season" on Pa Snipps? I find his comments very relevant and there`s no denying that his views on the Importance of being Wessi have been proved correct. It is indeed irritating the way Ar-chant delete items. Usually it is if one of their hacks has dropped a clanger and then gets flack as a result. Pa`s Chevron rules ok! PS. I am NOT Pa Snipps, nor am I Ged Steroo or anybody else! I`m not even feeling myself today ;-). OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • The left wing\right wing issue. The thing is, Pilks seems to be equally comfortable with either foot. Snods, Surs & Wessi are very left-footed. If Anthony applies himself (use C. Martin as an inverse role model) he could be a really top player. Other 2-footers seem to include Whits & Little Benno. Holty`s not at all bad, either. Carry on up the Chevron! IHWT

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • What was the Epiphany that Hoots had after about 6 games this season. Was it the picking of Hoolahan, or was it some greater force. And while i am being a boring old fart why did it take the early results to stimulate the transfer activity that produced Bassong and Tettey.-isnt that what the close season is for- but having said that Hoots has gone from 'does he know what he is doing' to Yes he does. Oh and to prove ive completely lost it Chris martin is currently cutting it in a recording studio. Ps last year we baet the Baggies on their own park, here's to the repeat. submit and its 503 time , must be east of the A12 or summat like that

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Sorry about the pun but i'm warped

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Pa Snipps, you have a very witty ID so I'm wondering if your apparently deluded comments are actually a wind up that we're all falling for. Please say it's true!!

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    Canary on the moon

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Goal difference is worst in Top 10 Leading striker has only scored 4 CH never managed a prem team before. Yet we are 8th in the charts. Are Norwich City defying gravityy?

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    paddycanary

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Is there an underlaying motive to that posting, spanishcanary? Somehow, I don`t think gripper strip and underfelt capture the public imagination as mush as football, as fascinating as I`m sure they are! OTBC. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Contributors to these columns! Please allow me to answer some of the criticism that has been fired in my direction... to J.Gavin I would say that Hughton has indeed got vast experience in playing the game at the highest level, and has all the medals required to pass his knowledge on. He began this season with a ready made team (minus Whitbread, but with the addition of Snodgrass). In his wisdom he decided to play the 'kick and rush' game with disastrous results. Myself and others tried to encourage him to bring in Hoolahan. If you are able to look back at my contributions over this period, you will see that I was prominent in trying to push him in this direction!

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    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • It has been at times frustrating watching the work of art that CH has presented to us, but as PL had three years to put the finishing touches to his the fact that CH has managed it in the time he has is truly testimont to his skills. I, as many do, question some of the things that has been done and no doubt we will continue too, in the besst possible taste. As for game plan B with regard to Holt, I would say lets see how Morison develops, think back to the start of the season and how many of us felt a cold shiver everytime Turner was on the pitch, now see the quality he has shown. If the funds are available I would say yes to another striker in January as it seems, sad to say, young Chris Martin does not seem to be cutting it. WBA will be another intresting test seeing how they are slipping lately and if we manage anything from Chelsea and Man City then CH should be signed into such a watertight contract that Houdini could not escape! OTBC

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    Jakarta Canary

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Wivenhoe budgie, I enjoyed your Epiphany comment made yesterday. Something definitely happened at that point to show him the light, and the rebirth of Hoolahan just happened to take place at the same time. Maybe he even read a few wise words from the magi in these columns. His next major step must be to swap Snodgrass and Pilkington to opposite wings, and at last Grant Holt will get a bit service with crosses. All my comments are intended to be constructive and in the interest of our Football Club.

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Democracy depends on the ignorant masses electing the government. Is democracy such a good idea?

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • At the begining of the season I did say (and back) Norwich to be relegated, I was never a fan of lambert, though most of NCFC seemed to like kissing his backside - Lambert is a good championship manager at best, he leaks goals and lets not forget Norwich conceded more goals in the PL than any other club has ever done in the 2 seasons he was manager, and AV seem to me having a good go at taking that record on. If i have one critism of norwich fans is they just dont seem to grasp what PL football is - they loved Lambert when he was leaking goals, and when Hughton came along he was critised for being too negative. I doubt Norwich will win again this year, Chelsea & Man City are beyond them, WBA perhaps a draw. Sad to see the team throw the towel in with the League Cup, could be argued Norwichs biggest game for many years. So good luck to Norwich, but dont get dizzy on the high position youre in now, it wont last. Loving the chelsea haters - Under Abranavich they have won 11 trophiestitles, which no-one can beat. Man Utd have won 9, Man City 2 - Not mucch else left for teams who play gunhoe footy eh ?

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    pubmandave

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Headless Chicken! No delusion..... If you could turn these pages back to 24th September, you will see that I commented “Is our new manager beginning to realise that which us City Fans new all along. ….HOOLAHAN and the job he does is without match within the current squad. Until someone else comes along with the same ability, his name should always be FIRST on the team sheet, and in partnership with him, HOLT will thrive”. Well maybe Holt has not thrived, but if our wingers were swapped over, that could all change. ,

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    Pa Snipps

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • My response to Timbo was not only ethered, it was rejected as "Duplicate" despite never appearing. Key words: Tortoise and Hare. Hoots & Lambo. Patience & Impatience. Good Guy & Not. Glad to see Pa Snipps resolute in the face of concerted criticism. Is he the message boards` Panto Villain of the Year?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Good old Pa! You stick to your guns. You make far more sense than the pundits and most of the press. The Hoolahan issue is a "QED" job. I think, even without swapping the wingers over, Holty`s day may still come, as goalscoring threat from other players (Pilks, Snods) starts to take some attention away from him. We need to be grooming a Hoolahan understudy. Is that what Butterfield is here for, longer term? Or Howson now? Keep `rooting` for the team, Pa. ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • With all respect to you, Pa Snipps, I don't think a guy who played nearly three hundred games for Tottenham, over fifty international games for the Republic, then spent fifteen years as assistant coach at same Totthenham, who was sacked unfairly by Newcastle after taking them back up into the Prem and who then took an average Birmingham side to the knock out rounds of the Europa Cup, needs any advice from posters on this blog, not even your good self. Don't forget that he started off this season with a squad that was completely strange to him (Lambo had had two years with City before he tackled the Prem) and needed to experiment a bit in order to find the right style of play and formation - which he has now done. Keep giving your advice by all means - the rest of us will listen to you - but do you really think that CH needs to?

    Report this comment

    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • As the retiring Rugger player said, "Thank you for your support, I shall always wear it". :-). I cannot quite comprehend the mindset that says "He`s the expert, so other opinions are of no value". Imagine theatre goers saying "I thought the play was a load of boring, badly produced, badly acted tripe, but the producer and writer must know better". Long may the cerebral considerations of Pa "Chevron" Snipps continue! I`m sure the equally cerebral Hoots does not mind a bit of constructive criticism from mere fans (aka Keyboard Warriors). OTBC. IHWT.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Having read the comments from the Three Wise monkeys,they should reflect and see that we can all learn something new from others, including the second Messiah.....Surely that is my point Downunder! The four you mentioned are playing extremely well, but they all play in defence. A situation that Hughton is masterful at, and these men playing a prominent role in our goal scoring rate. Our attack is not up to the same standard, and in my opinion unbalanced, trying to play mostly through the middle. For gods sake we are in the Premiership and not a second rate League 2 outfit. He should widen his options by swapping Snodgrass to the left wing-his natural position- and giving us a bit more width... Holt could do nothing but benefit from this

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    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • I like that one Timbo, it needs to be shared with my Fantasy Football League.

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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

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