December 8 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Chris Hughton looks beyond the pound signs when he assesses the serious threat from Southampton at Carrow Road this afternoon.
The Saints’ summer spending has outstripped most of their Premier League rivals, with Pablo Osvaldo’s arrival from Roma pushing the south coast club through the £30m mark.
Hughton may have overseen a club-record outlay of his own on eight permanent arrivals, but the Norwich boss highlights Southampton’s commitment to organic growth along with their willingness to spend big.
“I would be the first to admit that by the standards of what we have done here in the past we have spent a lot of money,” said Hughton. “I am very grateful of the support and proud to be at a club with that outlook, but you do look sometimes at the other clubs and if we look at Southampton specifically or even Cardiff and what they’ve spent on individual players it puts things into perspective. Southampton have spent money, but I think they have spent it well and as a club they do have that real good balance of players who have been there over the last few seasons and some excellent young players. In the past few weeks alone they have had three 18-year-olds in the team. I think the manager who came in has continued the work Nigel (Adkins) did. If I look at the way they played when they got promoted it is very similar. There is a lot of interaction in that final third of the pitch and (Adam) Lallana and (Jay) Rodriguez played quite regularly under the previous manager so I don’t see too much changing of roles.”
Saints’ counterpart Mauricio Pochettino ranked last season’s Carrow Road trip as one of his toughest introductions to English football after a hard-fought 0-0 draw. Hughton view such comments positively.
“That is certainly nice to hear. It’s a compliment to us as a club and a group of lads,” he said. “He is certainly right in respect of it being a tough game. We missed that penalty in the last moments, but chances were at a premium between two very competitive sides. I expect the same again.
“They have a wonderful blend between youth and experience and they seem to have a vision of how they want the club to improve. You know they have a lot of good offensive options and in the manner they play they are a threat for any team. To me they have the same philosophy whether they play home or away.”
Hughton confirmed during the build up he could be tempted back into the transfer market ahead of Monday’s deadline if the right opportunity arises. The City boss insists, however, there are no hard or fast rules, with the likes of WBA and Arsenal yet to buy any players.
“When you hear a statistic that Arsenal have made the group stages of the Champions League for 16 successive seasons that should answer any criticism directed at the manager over spending on players,” he said. “What Arsene Wenger has done there is magnificent. Whatever decisions he makes in these last few days of the window will be the right ones. There is always pressure on managers in these situations. Do I feel any more than last season? Not really. Did I feel pressure last season and will I feel it again in the future? Yes. It is something that comes with the territory.”