May 23 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Friday, September 21, 2012
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton hopes to play only a bit part role in his first return to former club Newcastle in the Premier League this weekend.
Hughton is guaranteed a warm reception from the Magpies’ faithful for his stint in the north-east after guiding Newcastle back into the top flight in 2010 before he was surprisingly replaced by Alan Pardew later that year. The Canaries’ boss will reluctantly take his place in the spotlight pre-match, but wants the focus to shift firmly to his players at kick-off time.
“I have thought about how I will feel when I first walk out there but that is probably less important than I how I feel at the end of the game,” he said. “It is one that on a personal note I am looking forward to going back but it is about performance. I will certainly enjoy the occasion better if we go there and give a good account of ourselves. It is a very difficult place to get a result. They are an extremely good team and one I expect to be pushing for Champions League places. It is a very daunting place to go, but we have a team I would like to think will look forward to that experience.”
Hughton insists City’s preparations in training this week have not been dominated by their search for more goals after notching twice in their first four Premier League games.
“From day one of my time here we would go through the course of training in a normal way and that would include finishing sessions,” he said. “We are conscious of the fact we need to win football matches. We have been more solid since that first game and I couldn’t fault the endeavours of the players but we know it is goals that win you football matches and we have to start putting a few more in. I hope it just takes one to set us off and running. All you can do is set the team up in the way you feel is right. You would like to think sooner rather than later that will turn.
“We hope the first win is just around the corner. That is all we are missing now because the last three performances have been very good. They are three games that could have seen us pick up wins in all three because we did play well enough and we created enough chances. We didn’t and that is the quality of this league. Probably at this moment we need a flukey goal or a poor decision to go in our favour. Generally, you have to make your own luck in this game.”
Midfielder Elliott Bennett (knee) re-joined training on Friday but will not be considered for the trip to Newcastle. Likewise Simon Lappin (ankle) and Steven Whittaker (ankle), but Anthony Pilkington (groin) has been passed fit after missing the goalless draw against West Ham.
“We are okay at the minute (with injuries),” said Hughton. “ Stevie Whittaker is still out at the minute and it is one that will probably now take its course. We knew when he did the original injury it could be anything from eight to 12 weeks. He is doing some good running at the minute so that is encouraging. Simon Lappin (ankle) will hopefully train next week. Elliott Bennett (knee) trained today so that is encouraging. We are in quite good shape.”
Jacob Butterfield, Chris Martin and Elliott Ward have all been named in Norwich’s U21 development league side for Friday afternoon’s home game against West Brom’s U21s at Colney.
Norwich City writers Paddy Davitt and Mark Armstrong have answered your questions in the Norwich City debate at www.pinkun.com/debate