Norwich City boss Chris Hughton left licking his wounds after Aston Villa surrender

Chris Hughton admitted Norwich City's 4-1 Premier League defeat to Aston Villa was painful to take. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Chris Hughton admitted Norwich City's 4-1 Premier League defeat to Aston Villa was painful to take. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, March 3, 2014
7:30 AM

Chris Hughton admitted Norwich City had no case for the defence after Aston Villa blitzed his side in a first half demolition job at Villa Park.

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Wes Hoolahan’s close range finish was the perfect opening salvo, but it was Paul Lambert’s men who took control with Christian Benteke’s brace and Leandro Bacuna’s tidy slot rocking the Canaries before Sebastien Bassong’s own goal sealed their Premier League fate in the West Midlands. Hughton accepted the manner of City’s surrender was totally out of sync with his team’s recent defensively assured offerings.

“Of course this result and the manner of it is a concern but we have been on the back of some good defensive displays and we had come into the game on the back of a good Tottenham result. Right at this moment it is a really body blow for us,” said Hughton. “I will have to take it on the chin as a manager. As the manager I have to accept any criticism that comes my way. That is normal and you have to lick your wounds. Unfortunately for us we now have a number who will go away on international duty and we will not see them probably until Thursday.

“Once we get them all together we have to make sure we put ourselves in the best possible position to win a home game next Saturday (against Stoke City). “This is a sore one. You have to assess it honestly and say we weren’t good enough. That is a fact and we were well-beaten. That can happen and it is how you can respond. It is difficult to take because this is not one I saw coming.”

Hughton was at a loss to explain how City had capitulated in the face of Villa’s powerful surge.

“For 25 minutes I thought we played very well. We started the game well, got a goal and could have got a second,” he said. “One thing you have to do when you come here, because they can get a crowd behind them, is you have to quieten that crowd and we certainly did that. “But in a 15 minute period we conceded the one goal and they turned up the power and pace and we couldn’t handle it for that period. If you can’t handle it you have to make sure you don’t concede and in a bad period for us we, of course, conceded the goals and at that stage there’s no coming back from that.”

Benteke’s 25th minute overhead kick opened the floodgates.

“For a manager you always look at how we could have prevented it,” said Hughton. “I am sure many will view it as a brilliant goal from a top striker but at that stage you have to be able to weather the storm. They raised their game and you have to be able to stand up to it. We couldn’t and the game was over.

“On his day he is as good as any striker and these can counter-attack as well as anybody and we suffered from that.

“We should have done better. You can’t allow them to play the type of balls in, particularly to somebody with the power he has got, but as defenders we’ve got to deal with that better. It’s part and parcel of the game and there is no doubt when he is on top form he is an exceptional player but you have to cope with those things. Even at 2-1 we have to gather as a team and make sure that at 2-1 we stayed in the game. You have to consolidate, but we didn’t and their pace took over from that moment.”

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46 comments

  • Mad Brewer, I didnt catch any of Canary Call .. please tell me ur having a tongue in cheek moment cos if ur not I will go into meltdown !

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    Kristafa

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • An Open letter to all at NCFC. I said the day NCFC appointed Chris hughton he was the wrong man. I got slated for it. Not many months into his first season a large portion of fans had already started seeing the points I made on why he was the wrong man. The alarm bells were ringing. Sadly now we've reached the point of no return. Were so deep in trouble its unreal after yet another humiliating defeat against a side who not only were relegation rivals but utterly woeful at home and hadnt scored a goal in over 4 games. Im sick and tired of accepting less than average (accepting average would be bad enough!). Will us fans vote with our feet or wallets so to speak, as thats what the club truly cares about......of course we wont because we all love OUR club an from 1st minute to 90th minute we passionately back our lads to do the best they can (regardless of the score). I fully accept in this day an age were never going to achieve better than mid-tableflirting with 8th area of the league but the decline i've witnessed in the last 13 months is insane! We've become the joke of the league in non NCFC fans eyes and it certainly seems the rest of the country its taking the michael out of us. If we go down fighting thats one thing but if we slip out the top flight (and mark my words we wont return immediately) as we are at the moment via the odd flukey win followed by 5 total no shows or gifts i'll be even more livid than I am now. All the good work and foundations already in place by the club was totally destroyed by Hughton on arrival. From tactics to playing staff, destroyed like a wrecking ball because after all "Hoots knows best"....We've never managed England, what do us fans know! We may have missed the boat in addressing the clear and present danager at the club but surely its just as risky changing a manager now as it would be to keep the one that continues to fail? Yours disappointingly, Mattias333. PS - Any manager that thinks its a good idea to sub Nathan Redmond off who was playing right wing and directly replace him with Elmander isn't a manager or anyone with any sort of footballing brain.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • I wish we had someone with Hoolahan's ability that actually wanted to be at the club...

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    GossVolley

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Can anybody tell why Elmander was brought in on loan? and why bring him on yesterday this bloke is complete pants!

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    dave123

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • dave. Best answer I can give is I highly suspect Hughton hoped he would be the target man we require to make his tactics work. At Newcastle and Brum he had a target man and despite the tactic not being easy on the eye it got results as the target man would hold up the lumped up hoofs and bring others into play when they arrived. Hughton misses that vital element and therefore we mostly lose possession as Hooper & RVW try as they might are never going to be target men. They work off a target man. Thats the only reason I can think of, for why Hughton would sign Elmander on loan. It simply has not worked out. My missus family are Bolton season ticket holders and they laughed so much when I saw them saturday about how we'd signed there record signing on loan. All they remember him for was one screamer of a goal.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • I would like to personally thank the Trolls for their comments over the last 24 hrs. I was sickened about the way in which we played and thought that nothing could be more embarassing; but then enter the usual bunch of muppets. I had forgotten how much stupidity wants to strutt its stuff in public. It has made me reaslise that there is something worse than Sunday's match.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Well city lose again which i expected just din't say what the score would be looking at that game and others matches some of city players are just not premiership players. But what can you expected when you are a clubs that spend less on players less on wages less on staff salaries,and spent a lot less than any other team in the premiership that is what we where told on anglia sports. just prove we are a tight club only interested in making money. City will go down look at the last five games all look defeats. Nothing will never change udder Delia smith and her board don't have a clue .

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    DOBBY1970

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Norwich are TOP of the Premier League! True!! Norwich have conceded more goals away from home than any other team in the Premiership . They have let in 32 goals away from home in 14 away matches, which is even more than Fulham. That is a record that Hughton should truly be ashamed of as he continues with his headlong dash to mediocrity and relegation.

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    kenfoggo

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Kristafa, it was such a surreal utterance that I am wondering whether I really heard it at all! Then, I`ve just spotted that Mattias has referred to it too. In this very article, Hoots is quoted as saying `at that stage there`s no coming back from that`. So, 45 minutes is not long enough to even TRY a fight-back. I`m sure (almost) that CH was trying to justify playing Elmander on the right wing. Probably some choice half-time advice he got from Bewilderwood, who is an expert on that mismanagement technique. No, Kristafa, that was not a `tongue in cheek moment`. Perhaps somebody else can confirm I did not dream it?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Spot on Matt, I said on a previous post that I would have switched it to a diamond midfield at half time and given it a go at least. With our already pathetic goal difference, what sane manager would try to keep the score down second half, surely it should have been a case of going for it with Pride. I would certainly have replaced Bassong at half time and given Bennett the second half to show what he could do with Yobo.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Hughton has so many wounds now he is the real life equivalent of the knight that guards the bridge in Monty Python's Holy Grail. He also looks just as stubborn, clueless, and ridiculous. Guess what he is saying as we are humiliated yet again "IT'S ONLY A FLESH WOUND"

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    Burglecut

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Get Pardew in now. If he can put the head in on opposition players perhaps he can nut a few of ours who so readily accept surrender. A bit of fight that's when we need.

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    waclor

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • One thing I cannot fathom out is who are the anonymous people in pretty baby blue shirts that sit on the bench every match. There seems to be more of them than players at the moments. All part of Hughtons entourage that are looking for a payout when he gets the sack. Let me see - there's probably a hairdresser, a beard expert, a tattoist, a short sleeved jumper advisor and there used to be the coaches but their places are now taken by Hughton, Trollope and Calderwood. Any other ideas as to who these people are.

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    VictorM

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Today's photo caption is: "Robert, Robert which was is left? Is it this way or, no it's that side. Robert Robert help".

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    waclor

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Timbo are you surprised McNally is silent? Last two times hes spoken about the club situation regarding the manager the media have destroyed him!

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Btw, did I really hear Hughton say, on Canary Call, that he set out in the second half to just hold the status quo?? Even defensive ol` Worthy managed that famous 4-4 comeback.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Mattias I take your point and I'm not trying to dwell on the Hoolahan thing cos we've got bigger worries but I dont see how you can say with such certainty it was a gesture to Hughton for not playing him. it seemed to me like he just didn't want to clebrate because he'd rather be at Villa. Which is probably fair enough but I'm not gonna bother going into that!

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Why should anyone care what Hughton says anymore? It's a sick joke that he and his useless clowns are still employed by the club. The more I see of the Premier League managers, the more I think that most of them are overpaid charlatans. The few good ones available are concentrated at the top (with the exception of David Moyes). CH is always spinning that it is someone else's fault. No it is your fault Chris. It is your team. They folded under pressure yesterday and as ever made an average team look like Real Madrid, not for the first time either. At least with Paul Lambert we had spirit and could fight back from a goal against away from home. At the end of this wretched season searching questions need to be asked about why a decision was not made earlier to remove CH . If it is because of a bottom three clause in CH's contract then we have to ask why our esteemed CEO was suckered into signing this limited manager into such a contract. I have the misfortune to have to live and work in Suffolk and I have to say they are not all village idiots like the ones attracted to this board from our jealous neighbours. If someone is obviously from the other side and their sign in name states it why let them onto the board Archant?

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    suffolkcanary

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Fair enough Mattias I appreciate that... The whole sorry situation does seem to point to bad man-mangement. Haven't helped our selves at all this season!

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    GossVolley

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • There you are, Kris! Matt has simultaneously confirmed that it was not a dream!! Hughton really IS that inept. Surely no further evidence is required.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Please for the love of god stop this Hoolahan non celebration rubbish. Plain and simple he celebrated like he did (or didnt as matter may be) more as a way of saying "thats why I should be playing" directly at Hughton! No disrespect at the club or fans. Otherwise he would applaud the fans during warm up before or during games. Further more if it was because hes trying to disrespect the club he would have been subbed immediately or at HT and left to rot in the reserves. Do you blame him wanting to leave during the last window? Doubt i'd want to stay at a club run by Hughton. Especially if I knew in my head I deserved to play more of a part than I had. He was one of the better players before the usual Hughton Collapse sunday. Just because RVW wasnt playing and snoddy was subbed at HT some people have to have a little moan at someone and its Wes turn this week. The blame is totally on one mans head. Mr Hughton. So it turns out he was trying to achieve a 0-0 2nd half. Not the first time hes taken this approach when were getting stuffed. Id rather us lose 6-1 than lose 4-1 with damage limitation. Utter joke of a manager. Takes the biscuit with that comment! Achieving a Boro 4-4 come back point was always going to be hard but what on earth must his teamtalk been at HT? Russell Martin : "boss what do you want us to do, hold our heads high and just try win the 2nd half at least even if the whole games out of reach?"......Chris (I dont know what im doing) Hughton: "well kind of Russell....I want us to go out there and.....draw the 2nd half". Madness.....alarm bells have been ringing for so long but we've done nothing.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Once again I fear his wounds will not be fatal, the only glimmer of hope is that those players going away on international duty will get some decent coaching for a change.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Not directly aimed at you anyway Goss, Theres others going far more over the top. I only say it with such certainty because in real life not pub talk land like most do nobody would do that. He wouldnt be playing if it was to that extreme. Media blew this whole thing out of proportion and the chinese whispers followed only made it worse.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Yawn Ipswich trolls having a go at our board? Focus on your own mysterious board first. How ironic. we've got a good squad just 110% the wrong type of man managing them. We had some brilliant base to build on before he walked in and totally destroyed and undid all the hard work. Whether hes a nice man or not hes simply not the man to take this club forward. Sadly as its proved hes taken us backwards and no excuse will change that.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • kenfoggo, there is only one element of my pre-season prediction that is likely to be even close - I guessed 57 goals conceded. On current results, we would concede 58. Trouble is, we still have Liverpool and Chelsea to play. Not worried about ManU or Ar$enal ;-) Nor Fulham... In light of our club-record signing, I thought we might amass 48 goals for, but we are heading for about 29 (being generous). Obviously, the points total of 49 is a nonsense now... Though we just might conjure up 6 wins and 3 draws? Bound to lose at Fulham, though. So we will finish 9th after all?! Great poetic references, LincsCan; die schonste Jungfrau setzet, dort oben wunderbar.. Rock on, Heinrich.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Where have all the Happy-Clappers gone..? Also a deafening silence from McNasty + Co. I'm exiled in t'North of England ( no better than Suffolk). Any sign of a press conference, statement from the board, new TV series from Delia, anything..??? This wouldn't be allowed to happen @ Man U or Man C...yes,yes I KNOW we aren't the same level as them, but we are a Premiership club (just) + we do expect to do better than this with the players we've got....DOH !

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    Timbo

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Dont take it to heart Swiss Canary.. Soon the pain will be over. And you will need to pay back all that money's that is owed . And the much over rated players will be falling over them selfs to leave. Then you will know how we feel. C.H. should have left long ago to late now i suppose ...........

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • A statistician AND a poet. Kudos, Lincs !

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    User Removed

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • We are a great side when the game is 0-0. However there are two killer stats that prove CH cannot work out how to change a game if we go behind: 1) No sub has scored all season, 2) In games where we have gone behind and had to chase the game we have only picked up 5 points all season (and 3 of those were against West Ham). In other words the reason we are clinging on to 0-0 for as long as possible in every game is a) we score less than one goal per game, b) if we let one in we nearly always lose because we can't equalize, c) when we chase the game we tend to let in at least 4... in short we have no Plan B

    Report this comment

    jops

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Mathias, you were not alone in saying on the day of his appointment that Hughton was the wrong man. He was the wrong man on that day and he is the wrong man today.

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    Cecil

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • May i say that MATTIAS 333 has got it wroge its not as you call them Ipswich trolls having a go at city board . ITS a long serving supporter for many years who had snuff of this board who don't know what they are doing they are only in it for the fame and money Delia Smith is a fallen tv cook thats what she should of stayed doing instead of trying to run a football club.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • There must be an agenda at Board level that we ,as supporters, are not aware of. Despite 2 years of poor performances the Board are sticking with a Managerial team which is ripping the heart out of the Club. The evidence was there on Sunday for all to see, the stark contrast of the team that we WERE with Lambert and the team that we ARE with Hughton. It was humiliating, embarrassing and pathetic. No other words need describe the performance. And yet, no press conference announcing a change at Carrow Road? Why? I just do not understand the inaction at Board level. There must be something going on behind the scenes that we are not aware of , other than a whole lot of poor thinking and misplaced loyalty to a Manager who cannot motivate a performance of Premier quality out of the team that he has built and is responsible for.

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    kenfoggo

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • I take it that Hughton thought that to bring a cart horse on as sub and put him on the wing was the best way to pull a goal back and get back in the game

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    leslie cater

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • VictorM , ur right more flunkies at Carra Rud than Buckingham Palace ! .... to be fair Villa had a massive start when their line-up revealed Lambert, Culverhouse and Karsa n we countered with Hughton, Calderwood n Trollope ! ! !.

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    Kristafa

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Similar for me. I was livid, I was enraged....then I looked in my pocket and folded up between 'Benteke to score anytime 2-1 Villa' & 'Holt to score last' was.......'Hoolahan to score first backed at 121'.......only positive I could find from being humiliated again.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • It is very sad that City cannot string two results together. We knew what Villa can do and were woefully prepared to counteract their pace and power. Even after scoring first, City could not keep them form overrunning our defence. Injuries to Howson and Fer have weakened the midfield. But yesterday's performance was a shambles.

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    burnhamcanary

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Good luck back in the championship with owners and board like city have thank heavens i will not be there

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    DOBBY1970

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Who ever takes over from this pathetic bunch in the summer, be it in the championship (likely) or in the premier league (if we are lucky), they will have a though job because the soul has been sucked out of this team and the club. We have a sad array of spineless players with no confidence and no belief and supporters devoid of hope of anything better than scrapping crappy wins (Tottenham was an anomaly)

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    Burglecut

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • ha cecil! I like it. First time ive chuckled today! Or since the collapse yesterday infact. Thanx chap :)

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Then there is C Hughton who spent £25 million on poor players he payed way to much for RVW a manager who should have be sacked in january but Mcanally din't have the cuts to sack him would rather go down and lose millions income well done to him and the board of no hopper

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    DOBBY1970

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • MB is 100% spot on. Hughton did say that. Stunned myself hearing that! Some managers when faced with 4-1 at HT would say....ok well lets just try win the 2nd half for a little bit of pride. But no Hughtons team talk consisted of lets go out and DRAW the 2nd half. Not first time hes done this either. Yes we could has lost by more, but i'd rather lose 7-1 than hold Villa 2nd half to a 4-1 loss. That should equal immediate dismissal. Almost like he wants to get sacked with some of the madness Hughton Produces. Playing Elmander in a straight swap on right win with Redmond is the 2nd thing that should lead to instant dismissal. Like MB said though, Calderwood did it with Holt at Forest so not surprised Hughton did it with with Elmander with NCFC if Calderwood is the best advisor he has.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • ps it may be to late and makes no difference sacking CH at this stage of the season but it would certainly make me feel better.

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    Burglecut

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • A Long Long Long time ago!!!! Alarm bells were ringing months ago. about as much chance we will survive now as there is a female driver using the correct lane on a roundabout.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Only a week ago I was one of those who listened to the sweet Siren music which sang of a new area when based on solid defence the Carrow Canaries would venture forth in the good ship Hoots and conquer. But the Sirens deceived us and the good ship was holed by the Villan rock. Now we have awoken. Above are gathered the storm clouds and all around are giant waves ready to smash us against other rocks until finally on the horizon looms the bete noire of Craven Cottage.

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Everyone bar the Queen knows Benteke is a class act, and will gone in the summer, he like Wes want out, Sunday he had Bassong in his back pocket, his second goal was well a foul for climbing, there was no Yobo, this was one game most had marked for a lose anyway, if we had won when we should have, no one would have cared

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    OLDYELLA

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • I think using a large, ponderous "striker" on the Right-Wing is a technique Bewilderwood brought with him, to enrich our pool of options. It worked so well with Grant Holt at Nottingham Forest that GH opted to leave NF and join Shrewsbury. Our gain, `cos Gunny then brought him to Norwich and Lambo subsequently inspired him to be triple top-scorer and PotS. Then the foetid finger of Fate favoured us no longer. Bewilderwood came to Norwich. Holty`s goals dried up. Holty leaves ASAP. Bewilderwood is still here. There is no Justice.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 3, 2014

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