Saturday, November 10, 2012
Manager Chris Hughton said a fortnight of good results had made his Norwich City players’ unstinting efforts worthwhile – and he urged them to keep up the good work at Reading today.
The Canaries go to the Madejski Stadium (3pm), buoyed by taking seven points from three Premier League games and booking a quarter-final place in the Capital One Cup.
“I’m pleased for the players. They deserve it,” he said. “It is easy to say we should have more points but I very much believe it. You felt for the team when they put in performances and didn’t get what they deserved.
“To be rewarded of late is nice for them. They are a good group and they have to be a very hard-working group. At the end of the week if you have something visible to show for it, it makes it worthwhile.
“There is always a better feeling when you have a few points. We went through a frustrating period and this is a nice one, now we need to sustain it.
“It has given us that little bit of confidence and more importantly given us points on the board, but every game for us is very, very tough, and we know the level of performance we have to get to.”
Reading have yet to win a Premier League game since their return to the top flight, but Hughton has a great deal of respect for manager Brian McDermott, whose career ran parallel with his own at Tottenham in the early years, when he played across North London for rivals Arsenal.
“He has done a magnificent job,” said Hughton. “If you look at the start of last season not too many would have fancied for them for promotion but they went on an unbelievable run which really set them up for going into the Premier League.
“In some ways we had similar apprenticeships. He veered off into perhaps a few more directions than I did but he was someone who stayed in the game when he stopped playing. Then when the opportunity came at Reading, fair play to the hierarchy there who recognised the job he had done.
“I think that makes him a better manager for those experiences.”
City defender Russell Martin is still a doubtful starter against Reading, a fortnight after suffering a back spasm in the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa. But Michael Turner (dead leg) and Javier Garrido (knee) are both fit and available after being substituted with knocks against Stoke.