May 26 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Chris Hughton admits the sense of anticipation is building ahead of the Premier League kick-off with Norwich City wrapping up their friendly action on the road at Championship club Hull tonight.
The Canaries conclude with a Carrow Road date against German Champions League qualifiers Borussia Monchengladbach this Saturday before the real business gets under way at Fulham.
Hughton detects positive signs of progress, but knows the pending trip to Craven Cottage will be the first serious test of his tenure.
“We lost the first game in Austria but since we have come back you want a good run. The results are not the most important thing but it is about being ready for that first game of the season feeling we are in good shape,” he said.
“You hope some of the momentum of pre-season will be a benefit for us. How well-prepared we are is something you probably won’t know until the Fulham game actually comes around. All you can do is work towards your programme and feel you have got it right. We have restricted the injuries you can pick up – if you look beyond Steven Whittaker in the Celtic game we are okay injury-wise. That is always a good sign. We think we are on course but we will certainly be able to tell come August 18.”
The likes of Grant Holt, John Ruddy, Jonny Howson and Russell Martin are all expected to return for City’s trek along the east coast this evening after Hughton opted to split his playing resources for the most recent friendly game at MK Dons.
“We have a programme during this pre-season period and we have to make sure that all the boys get the right minutes,” he said.
“The ones not at MK Dons were all involved in the Ajax game during the previous week and the ones not involved on Friday will be back for Hull. The challenge is there for everybody and we are very much looking forward to the season.”
Hughton blooded both Robert Snodgrass and Michael Turner from the start at stadiummk, and the City chief believes his new boys can make a serious impact in Norfolk.
“I thought they both did well; Michael for a shorter period of time and Snodgrass probably just tired towards the end of the game,” he said. “He missed a few days of training during the period of time between leaving Leeds and coming to us, but what I think he did show was some of the qualities that he does have on that right-hand side.
“I think he will be a very good addition for us. He is great at coming inside on his left and he showed that – whether it is from a wider area or more central. I’m quite sure there is a lot more from him to come and with Turner his experience is going to prove invaluable to us.”
In the final part of a three-part series dissecting the Canaries’ successful battle to retain their Premier League status, Norwich City writer Paddy Davitt highlights the underlying factors behind a slim goal return.