December 10 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Chris Hughton insists he is privileged to go head-to-head with the Special One at Carrow Road.
The Norwich City boss will relish his first managerial tussle against Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese engineered a return to his spiritual home in the summer.
“These are the reasons why we are here and why I am a manager,” said Hughton. “I don’t believe I have managed against him before so I am looking forward to the challenge. There is a great challenge playing in these games and no-one in my squad will have any fear or not want to be out there.
“These are the games you have to look forward to. From my point of view it is always a nice thought to be competing against the best managers. I think he has been great for our game. Whatever he goes on to achieve this time round I believe he will be regarded as one of the managers who has really added to our game.”
Hughton managed to produce when the pressure was on at Stoke last weekend and the City boss admires Mourinho’s innate ability to thrive under forensic scrutiny.
“What he has is an array of talent but that in itself is a tough job to pick the right teams. That is why he is so good at what he does,” he said. “Managers at the top clubs always have pressure on them to be competing for trophies and to be at the top of the game in Europe in the Champions League. His CV is incredible and the times I have been around him he has been good company and of course he is used to managing winning teams. That is a great testament to him.
“There is no doubt there is something special about him. His CV says that. He is a very charismatic figure and the media would tell you that, but the most important thing is what he has actually achieved. He always speak very well about the English game and for someone as successful as him that is nice to hear. He is always very, very complimentary.”
Hughton’s inner belief his Canaries can upset the established order is rooted not only in victory at the Britannia but City’s winning displays at Carrow Road against the elite.
“Yes, I think we can draw on those games against Arsenal and Manchester United for a positive,” he said. “We will be underdogs on Sunday, that is normal against a team like Chelsea, and most expect them to win but you have to use that to your advantage and at Carrow Road we have managed to compete well.”
“We have to draw on all those previous experiences and the plusses we took away. If you look at Chelsea and then Arsenal to come we might not be expected to get anything. You could have said the same about Stoke probably, but these are good games to be involved in.
“You have to play well, they have to not hit their peak and possibly your goalkeeper will have to play well on the day. You know that with their quality they can hurt you, but what you have to do is press them in the right areas, your work ethic has to be good and you have to be able to keep hold of the ball.”