Norwich boss Chris Hughton admitted the Canaries had to dig very deep to hang on for a priceless Premier League televised 2-1 home win over Sunderland at Carrow Road.

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Sebsatien Bassong and Anthony Pilkington helped fire City seven points clear of the current bottom three, but only after surviving a sustained second half onslaught from the Black Cats.

Craig Gardner’s sweet strike from the edge of the area a minute before the interval was the scene setter for a prolonged spell of pressure from the visitors around Mark Bunn’s goal. City were indebted to more resolute defending and some wayward finishing from the Wearsiders to stretch their unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions and cap a hectic spell which also brought Premier League points at Everton and Southampton in recent days.

“I thought we were excellent in the first half but it’s very difficult to sustain that for 90 minutes, particularly at the time of their goal - it gave them a real lift,” said Hughton. “They showed, at times, the real quality that they’ve got in their team, some real sharpness in the box and the wide areas. I thought (Adam) Johnson was always a threat.

“We had to dig deep in that second half but third game in a week, same team, so I’m really delighted. It’s the same team for three games in a week and we needed all 11 of them plus the two that came on.”

Sunderland are now just a point and a place above the Premier League drop zone, and former Norwich chief and Black Cats’ boss Martin O’Neill was left to lament their slow start at Carrow Road.

“We conceded some very, very poor goals so it was an uphill task but from the moment we conceded the second goal I thought that we played very strongly,” O’Neill said. “Second half in particular we were really excellent, we created some really decent chances and should have scored two or three.

“If we show the same spirit as we did in the second half for the rest of the season we’ll be fine and if we show the tension that was in us in the first half then it’ll be a tough battle.”

To add to Sunderland’s woes, star striker Steven Fletcher was substituted at half-time due to injury and O’Neill admitted he will have to wait and see what the diagnosis is.

“I’m really not sure at this moment,” said the Northern Irishman. “He is sore. I won’t know that (what the problem is) properly until Monday.”

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16 comments

  • Brewer are you a vampire, you only seem to comment during day light hours.

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    Lobbo

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • Fantastic first 40 odd minutes, could never see Sunderland scoring, three easy points until a goal out of the blue and the collywobbles set in. Was surprised Hoots did not make changes earlier to try to get back in the game, didn't Hooly and Holty works their socks off!

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    blackdog2

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • 3 well received points BUT !!!!!. How slow and lacking any innovation did we look compared to Sunderland in the second half, I asked for some good fortune and we got it. Perhaps it's our year. CH is a good man and he knows, trust me. (by the way I personally never believe anyone who says trust me) but trust me.

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    Lobbo

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • Just going to say the same thing Lobbo 3 points are 3 points and even if we played poor no matter what THEY ALL COUNT !

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    yarco

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • Grant Holt is our Captain he is omni present! Another 3 hard earned points, no one is giving points away to anyone. It will be a long hard season but 40 points is certainly a target well within Norwich City's reach. A tough away game coming up, but they are all tough no matter who you play in the Premier League. Norwich are on a great run at the moment and hopefully a few more points in the bag before January. Super Wes played a stormer again.

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    RoadWarrior

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • But the best bit is that the team that spanked our bottoms 5-0 on the first day of the season are now 2 points below us with same number of games played. Who can tell what the season will bring.

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    Lobbo

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • too much 503-ing & ethering. Cheers, Vlad.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • CLEVER CANARY is a secret leeds fan

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    canarycabbie

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • I watched the game on SKY.A hard, well earned, 3 points. A confident 44 mins until, passed well and looked confident until Sunderland scored. Defended well in the 2nd half,backs to the wall stuff, would have liked to see more attacking play, but 3 points are 3 points, not so long ago we would have collapsed, undefeated in 8 now, can't complain at that. We need to stay up this season as it's BIG money next year!!!. Well done lads.

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    Stuart MOON

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • Good on you Brew, the site would be a poorer place without you.

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    Lobbo

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Wow! That was for your benefit Lobbo! Not a Vampire, just a power cut last night. Fangs for thinking of me.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • We were so good in the first half that 3:0 at the break would not have flattered us. Sunderland's strike out of the blue on 44 minutes knocked us psychologically and the visitors grew in confidence for the 2nd half. We deserved out good fortune after the break and a further 3 points is wonderful. Let's enjoy the success.

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    bogbog

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • Best first 40mins of the season and another great 3 points, but why Hoots leaves his substitutions so late baffles me, particularly when he talks up what a tough week its been. Benno should have come on a lot earlier, or even started, as Snods was poor. Still not convinced we can adapt our style, and there will be times when we will need to - but you can't really criticise the manager when he is delivering the goods like he is!

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    canarydownunder

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Magic first half, some wonderful passing football especially the lead up to the goal. It would been nice to have had at least 3 goals by half-time. Second half was truely backs against the wall and it was a hard, in someways lucky, 3 points but it is 3 points and against a team around us. This shows you can only play the team you are against, 1st half we were allowed to play 2nd half we weren't but we took the points. Sunderland in the second half played similar to how we played aginst Man U, they harried us never let us settle on the ball, I suspect we will play teams like this again, also we will play a better full game and not the 3 points c'est la football. Bunn did well and his overall game made up for the slight lack of movement when Sunderland scored. OTBC

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    Jakarta (ex-Singapore) Canary

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Hi Lobbo. When I got back from watching the match on a big pub telly last night, The Peoples` Republic of Stalhamgrad was plunged into darkness, so I was unable to annoy you with a posting, no electricity! I am not a Vampire, but fangs for the thought. Regards, Vlad Tepes, ImpALER by Appointment to the Royal Court of Wallachia. ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Brilliant result and I thought our second goal was absolutely fantastic, 28 passes in the build up and frustrated Sunderland to the point where they were too high up the pitch, had a higher line than usual from all the pressing and we got in behind, really good from Pilks too to keep his head and using his attacking instincts. Hughton's work is definitely reciprocating and I know people won't have enjoyed the second half because it was completely different and we didn't see much attacking football but I think that's the change that's been made perhaps for the better, us being more balanced, better drilled and a bit more sensible in the way that we limit the chances they have, so if they don't take their chances and if they're not clinical, we'll take the 3 points. We're looking very good right now, a tough Christmas period ahead but we're in a very healthy position and I think we'll be cashing in on the increased money incentive to stay in the premier league.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

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

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