Thursday, January 3, 2013
Chris Hughton insists Norwich’s striking injury crisis will not alter his January window transfer plans.
The City boss had been linked with a clutch of attacking recruits from home and abroad even prior to the festive injuries sustained by Grant Holt and Steve Morison.
Both missed the New Year’s Day defeat at West Ham which capped a miserable holiday season for the Canaries, and Hughton has already ruled the duo out of his plans for this weekend’s FA Cup third round tie at Peterborough.
Young Tottenham loanee Harry Kane led the line at Upton Park prior to Simeon Jackson’s late arrival and Hughton is acutely aware of where he needs to try and bolster the Norwich squad during this month.
“I am no different in that respect to all the other managers. We will expect to be very busy on the phones,” he said.
“We’ll be doing our work and, of course, that is a big area for the side and I think that is highlighted when you are missing our two main strikers. But in that respect we would be no different if the same happened to a lot of clubs.
“If I look at West Ham, Andy Carroll is out and if Carlton Cole was injured that would be their two main strikers.
“You have to look for a way around that. We will be light there if we have injuries, so it is certainly up to me to see if we can address that.”
City’s weekend cup trip to London Road provides some respite from a tough top flight spell after embarking on a club record unbeaten Premier League run prior to Christmas.
Hughton is adamant his men have made major improvements since a faltering start to the season.
“I would like to think so. I am disappointed we have lost these four games,” he said.
“With a bit of luck or quality towards the end of games we could have got something, but I would like to think we are now a better side. That will only be determined at the end of the season.
“You can look at it how you want but no-one has given us a beating in this period of time.
“They have been close games and we have to accept we have played two tough away games. West Ham away is never an easy game, as Chelsea saw a while back, and we all know with the two teams we played at home that you have to be at your best to get a result.
“We have been close, but the run we had before that makes you realise how good it was. We’re probably at this moment benefiting from that run where we got good points, and we needed them.”
One trend Hughton is keen to eradicate is the sluggish starts that have marred the recent league defeats to Manchester City and West Ham where the Canaries found themselves on the back foot early – albeit in controversial circumstances at Upton Park.
“They came out of the traps better than we did, but if you are 1-0 down after the first couple of minutes it is going to give them a massive lift,” he said. “In the second half we showed why we have been in every game lately but we certainly didn’t do ourselves any favours. In any game there will always be aspects that disappoint you and the penalty obviously affected the game.
“You can see by the reaction of our players how disappointed they were. Is it a concern how we are starting games? Always when you lose matches, and we need to rectify that.”
Jacob Butterfield has returned to Norwich City following his loan spell with Bolton.
The midfielder made four starts in two month-long spells at the Reebok, and four appearances from the bench. He played 11 minutes in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Leeds United.