Norwich City boss Chris Hughton will not settle for marginal gains ahead of festive Premier League home double

Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel made his long awaited return from a muscular toe injury at Sunderland. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel made his long awaited return from a muscular toe injury at Sunderland. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, December 23, 2013
7:00 AM

Chris Hughton knows the real value of a hard-fought point in a goalless draw at Sunderland will come by beating Fulham at Carrow Road on Boxing Day.

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Hughton has now witnessed two vastly-improved away displays and clean sheets in claiming four points from struggling West Brom and the Black Cats, but upward mobility is firmly roote in home wins.

“You come away from a place like Sunderland and you haven’t conceded and that is generally a nice feeling for the players. They had a few chances, we were under pressure at the end but we were resilient,” said Hughton. “The reality is we then go into a home game where the expectations are perhaps different. Irrespective of Sunderland’s league position, most fans I think would view a draw as a decent result but I know expectations change and our support expect us to win at home, and I have to manage that. We’re on a decent run at the moment, especially after the injuries which we’ve had to contend with in recent weeks that have tested the squad and I think we’ve responded really well to that. From where we were we’ve done well, but that’s the league and that’s how it is. It’s about coping with the ups and downs and we’ve picked up a bit of momentum.”

Hughton admitted Norwich could have secured a second consecutive away win with Gary Hooper, Leroy Fer and the returning Ricky van Wolfswinkel all testing Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone.

“Overall I am satisfied. They have had a good week and that can really buoy a team despite the difficulties they have had in the league,” said Hughton. “I think in this day and age any draw away, particularly with a clean sheet, is a good draw. I was a bit nervous at the end when they went down to 10 men and from our set play they ended up breaking away but we wouldn’t have deserved that. I felt we were very disciplined during the entire game.

“On the balance of play it was probably a fair result, even though we had some good chances. Certainly when Ricky went through towards the end if that was someone up to speed I think he puts it away but it was good to get him on the pitch after so long out.

“It was a fairly open game at times. I thought we broke really well and we got into some good areas and we’re a bit disappointed that we didn’t come away with a league win.”

Hughton backed referee Martin Atkinson’s decision to dismiss Wes Brown for a crude challenge on van Wolfswinkel in stoppage time moments after rejecting penalty appeals against Sebastien Bassong.

“On the handball incident I never felt it was and on the challenge I thought it was certainly reckless and it was a shame because it was a whole-hearted, end-to-end game,” he said. “It wasn’t that type of match. It was a competitive game and there were a few challenges flying about and the referee had to make decisions At that stage of the game I felt it was a bit of frustration, because that’s not what Wes is about.”

City’s away point on Wearside was also another building block after embarrassing losses at Manchester City and Liverpool.

“What has pleased me more than anything is we have had a couple of big defeats, albeit to Champions League quality teams, but we have responded well on each occasion and that shows character,” said Hughton. “You have to learn. It is not the results that hurt so much at Liverpool and Manchester City, it was the manner and the number of goals we shipped.”

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21 comments

  • Not a bad result but they were there for the taking.Earlier subs would have made a difference as anyone watching could see it needed freshening up.Now that RVW is back does that mean JE can have a long rest?With him playing all it does is encourge Ruddy to kick the ball upfield in the hope elmander gets a flick on to hooper.Actually all that happens 99% of the time is the opposition get the ball back straight away!We need to build from the back like all good teams not hoof it up championship style!Hope howsons soon back as we are very short in the central midfield position at the mo.

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    tonyb

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • jigs - thanks for the tip. Sweets a good idea and I need the loo regularly myself these days anyways! Will do the traditional first photo in front of the CR gates like I did with my eldest lad 2 years ago. He's a veteran these days and has a fantastic track record - 5 wins and only 1 defeat. We'd all take those sort of stats.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Well said Trevor. I didn't think Snodgrass brought much to the game to be honest and we definitely miss Howson. DJ - take a big bag of sweets and release one sweet at 5 minute intervals - guaranteed to keep him sitting still for 90 minutes! But, most importantly, make sure you go to the loo just before kick off and at half time . . .

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    jigs69

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • I;ve seen Redmond and Snodgrass put crosses in with the "wrong" foot so whats the problem. Most teams have at least one winger on the wrong side, Think about it. I do agree that they should swap more. Also we missed Wes. I think he is the only one that can make that clinical pass. Problem is who do we leave out to make room for him. OTBC

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    sharky

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Not a bad result but they were there for the taking.Earlier subs would have made a difference as anyone watching could see it needed freshening up.Now that RVW is back does that mean JE can have a long rest?With him playing all it does is encourge Ruddy to kick the ball upfield in the hope elmander gets a flick on to hooper.Actually all that happens 99% of the time is the opposition get the ball back straight away!We need to build from the back like all good teams not hoof it up championship style!Hope howsons soon back as we are very short in the central midfield position at the mo.

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • ...part4 has joined other bits in space...searching for Santa no doubt!!!!...."

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Three wins and two draws in the last seven games makes eleven points. We have as many away wins as we did last season and we're only half way. We have as many away wins already this season as we did all last season. Things are coming together nicely.

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • found in the Ether!…..HO! HO! HO!…..Mr McNALLY.....Who in their right mind would employ a Goal Keeper- a Right or Left Back - a Centre Back, or a defensive Wing Back to be manager of a progressive football club?....They do not match with the necessary requirements....They are poles apart in thinking...poles apart in winning matches...they are the Negatives of football...success to them is NOT losing!...... HO! HO! HO! …..(part 1)

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Sorry Stew but I don't buy into this idea that managerial ability is based on what position they used to play on the pitch. Just because someone was deployed in a certain position due to their abilities it doesn't mean they don't understand other aspects of the game. You really think all the best managers used to be strikers??

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    GossVolley

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • PS....Stick with it WES....YOU are our STAR on the Tree...and when the decorations come down before Twelfth night, The New Year could be brighter for us all!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Cannot fault the starting line up as we were playing two up front, however I am not sure if we then needed wrong sided wingers as we may have benefitted more with some decent crosses going in. I still think we should have introduced Wes with 20 minutes or so to go as he has the ability to creat chances and put decent balls in, especially when we are playing two up front. Either winger could have gone off to make way, I would have taken Redmond off but Snodgrass was back after a long lay off so giving him a break would not have been the worst management descision. I hope we do not end up regretting letting 4 points escape us during the last couple of games.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • The plan on playing wrong sided wingers is that they can either cut inside and shoot at goal(redmond)or cross a inswinger,then when or if the full backs overlap they cross a outswinger (usually),This makes the crosses varied and more for the defence to think about.Thats my theory anyway,not saying i like that style as i think wingers should swap sides now and again during the game.It does not matter how many or what type of cross goes into the box if no ones in there though!LOL.

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    tonyb

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • The problem with wrong footed wingers is that the striker is then trying to kick a ball that is in effect going away from him and towards goal, this then favours the keeper. It is far easier for a striker to connect with a ball that is coming slightly towards him plus away from the keeper. When we are playing a single striker, the wrong sided wingers are considered to be more like additional strikers, so go for goal more in their own right, but when you play two strikers it is better to deliver balls they can feen off, at least from time to time, hence swapping sides even throughout the game must surely be desired.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • (part3).....Mr McNALLY your latest venture is giving the discerning fan a headache...if you are happy with it, allow it to continue...if you are not, then may I suggest that you look beyond the will to survive and think positively for the future....Players (mainly Forwards) that have earned respect from their colleagues in the past are the ones you should be looking at....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • (part 2).....Not all front men are successful, there are bound to be those that don't make it....but they start from higher up the ladder than the consolidation Johnnies...and we've had our share of them in recent years!...Mr McNALLY your latest venture is giving the discerning fan a headache...if you are happy with it, allow it to continue...if you are not, then may I suggest that you look beyond the will to survive and think positively for the future....Players (mainly Forwards) that have earned respect from their colleagues in the past are the ones you should be looking at....and hurry before Hoolahan, and R.Martin join Holt, Chris Martin, Lappin, Barnett, and others that have been thrown to the wolves and replaced with expensive injury prone bench warmers as has happened to others that crossed our present muddler!.....Mr McNALLY..The ball is well and truly back in your court......I wish you a Thoughtful Christmas!......HO! HO! HO! ….Same old Stew Pydsodd!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • makes you wonder if wes will start many more games for ncfc.i thought he would have started v sunderland in place of elmander seeing that o'shea and brown are not the nimblest of defenders.At least should have had 20 mins on the pitch.Now with Rvw and snods back just cant see him getting a game,which is a waste of talent!

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • .....part 2 is in space at the moment!!!!!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • ...Hot News for Christmas!.....straight from the horses mouth.!...after a day out doing the shopping and seeing something that looks Festive....Our erstwhile crew have come up with a winner....It's called 'The Sprout Stalk line-up'.....4 in Defence( surrounding the Goal keeper)...A lone stalk running through the middle trying to command the show and be noticed ....4 decent sprouts running at will around the stalk.. and an immature discarded specimen told to keep out of the way....Just a case of who does what!........ HO! HO! HO! Here's wishing all who support Norwich City in one way or another ' A Very Happy Christmas and New Year'.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • (part 2).....Not all front men are successful, there are bound to be those that don't make it....but they start from higher up the ladder than the consolidation Johnnies...and we've had our share of them in recent years!..

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Oh dear Stew, I'm afraid your logic regarding strikers making better managers than defenders goalkeepers simply is daft! Look back at some of our most successful managers and we have a mix of keeper (Mike Walker), defender (Stringer), midfield (Lambert) but not many forwards. Can only think of Deehan and he was not really a success.If anything, I would have strikers as the least able to understand the big picture. I still don't think we have the right man but we appear to be slowly heading in the right direction and a win on boxing day will make a difference to the table. Can't wait - only my second game of the season and the first ever for my youngest lad. At nearly 3 I'm not sure he understands quite what will happen but will be wearing his shirt proudly. COYY.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • ..and hurry before Hoolahan, and R.Martin join Holt, Chris Martin, Lappin, Barnett, and others that have been thrown to the wolves and replaced with expensive injury prone bench warmers as has happened to others that crossed our present muddler!.....Mr McNALLY..The ball is well and truly back in your court......I wish you a Thoughtful Christmas!......HO! HO! HO! ….Same old Stew Pydsodd!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, December 23, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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