December 10 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Chris Hughton felt short-changed after Norwich City suffered a first home Premier League defeat of the season to Aston Villa at Carrow Road.
Libor Kozak pounced from close range in the first half to secure the points for Paul Lambert’s men but City were left to rue Robert Snodgrass’ missed penalty allied to an acrobatic one-handed stop in the closing stages from Brad Guzan.
Snodgrass appeared to pull rank on Ricky van Wolfswinkel over the spot kick with the Dutchman enduring a frustrating afternoon after two first-half near misses in front of the Barclay. Hughton admitted in his post-match interview he expected the club’s record signing to step up once Ciaran Clark was adjudged to have handled Snodgrass’ cut back.
“Sometimes what you will have on that occasion is a lad who feels very confident that he is going to put it away. That was very much the case with Robert,” he said. “Listen, when you have a penalty you are expected to score. We were all expecting Ricky to take it. Those conversations are very private (over who the designated penalty taker is) but I expected him to take it and if we get one in the future then I would expect him to take it.
“If you have an inspired goalkeeper who guesses the right way it is tough although I felt he came off his line on the penalty. That doesn’t tend to get overturned much these days. He is a very good goalkeeper. The Hooper save at the end was top class and he is absolutely a top class keeper. He played well but from our side we have to make sure he doesn’t have such a good day. That is the frustration for me. Certainly it was not down to endeavour or getting balls into the final third. We did that. We just didn’t have that quality in front of goal.
“On occasions when we haven’t deserved to get anything we have been quick to put our hands up. I don’t think that was the case today. The result does not reflect our performance. Over the 90 minutes we probably got in as many crosses and the final third as much as we have done for quite some time. What we didn’t have at the end of it was a bit of quality, fortune and guile to get us the goal we deserved.”
Lambert hailed the character of his side after losing Christian Benteke to a hip problem in the first half following on from injuries to Ashley Westwood and Jores Okore in the build up.
“The result was the most important thing rather than the performance. I felt in the opening five or ten minutes we should have been a couple up anyway,” he said. “What I am really pleased about is we had a few lads carrying knocks and we asked them to go out and perform. I thought they were brilliant. We were missing Jores and Ashley who have been big players for us and we had to patch a few others up. In that opening 10 minutes I felt we could have been 2-0 up and then we conceded a soft penalty.”
Perhaps it takes a Premier League victory forged through adversity to view Norwich City in a more reflective light.