December 9 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Norwich manager Chris Hughton insisted he could demand no more from his Canaries after slipping to a 3-1 Premier League defeat against title-challenging Chelsea at Carrow Road.
Hughton was left to rue Chelsea’s crucial second goal slotted by second-half substitute Eden Hazard which originated straight from a home corner with Hughton’s side pushing for a winner after Anthony Pilkington had cancelled out Oscar’s first-half opener. Willian then thumped home a third a minute after the Belgian’s strike had stunned the Canaries.
“I generally felt, on the balance of play after conceding a poor goal so early and giving them that momentum, we couldn’t have asked for any more effort and determination,” said Hughton. “It was their second goal which hurt us. It came from our corner and we were set up very well, but their power and pace on the counter-attack got the better f us, then at 2-1 it became very difficult for us. You have to hold your hand up sometimes - the strike for the third goal, thy have that kind of quality.”
Hughton was adamant his side were unfortunate not to be awarded a second-half penalty when Pilkington was tripped by Ramires.
“Anthony gets to the ball first, and with Ramires’ action, then he ends up going over,” he said. “Generally that is a penalty, but it is disappointment. Still, the players put in a really good effort. Our supporters appreciated what they did and I felt we deserved to get more.”
Blues’ counterpart Jose Mourinho admitted he had gambled with the late introductions of match-winning duo Hazard and Willian.
“We could have lost that match. We did not want a point. We lost a bit of balance to our side when it was 1-1, but we gambled,” he said. “We left the road open for them to score. If they had, we could have lost but we are trying to be top of the league. One point at Spurs and a point here would have been bad for us, so we tried to win. If they come in and make it worse, I am to blame. I know how football works. If they change the game, then the manager did very well. If not, then the manager made a bad decision. But I think it’s the players’ responsibility. The situation was difficult at 1-1. We all knew that a point here would be a bad result for us, but the whole team on the pitch coped well with the pressure, and without losing too much of the balance of the side, we could take the risk and gamble.”
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.