December 20 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 18, 2012
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is likely to dwell on one particular date in his diary following the release of the 2012/13 Premier League fixtures.
The Canaries’ new manager has never been back to St James’ Park since he was replaced at Newcastle by Alan Pardew in December 2010.
The ex-Birmingham boss had previously guided the Geordies to the Championship title and the City chief remains a revered figure among the Tyneside support. Hughton admitted prior to taking over at Carrow Road his north-east return will be a special day.
“I have not been back to Newcastle since it happened,” he said recently. “It hasn’t been because I haven’t wanted to. I just haven’t got round to it yet but I think now, what I would really like is to lead a team out at St James’ Park. That would be a fantastic occasion. Of course I would like to say a proper goodbye but football doesn’t always work like that. If it happens one day, of course I would really be looking forward to it. I think it would be a very proud moment for me. I don’t harbour grudges towards anyone at the club. If I am absolutely honest I don’t look at the club now and think, ‘What if?’ What is normal when you lose your job is that it’s very tough for a while. You watch games but you want to be working. I wanted to look forward from the moment it changed and I lost my job. Now I don’t look at Newcastle and wish them any ill feeling whatsoever.”
Hughton will have more modest aims than the Europa League-chasing Magpies when City’s squad meet up for pre-season training early next month as he looks to build on a successful first top flight campaign. The 53-year-old carved out a reputation for attacking football at both Newcastle and Birmingham, but Hughton insists he will adopt a pragmatic approach to the task in hand.
“I was brought up in my footballing years to enjoy a good passing game,” he said. “I have also learnt that you need to be able to adapt with formations and ultimately it is about winning games and to do that you have to score goals. There has been a wonderful philosophy here over the past few years of attacking football. If you can do that there is nothing better for supporters to see.
“The fans here create a unique atmosphere and make it a wonderful place to play. What this club has, because the percentage of support is local, is a real sense of vocal backing behind the team.”