Monday, December 3, 2012
Chris Hughton admitted City’s medical staff could be the most important members of his backroom team this coming week after victory over Sunderland capped a gruelling spell of Premier League combat.
The Canaries picked up seven points from trips to Everton and Southampton, alongside the latest Carrow Road success over the Wearsiders – but Hughton believes such exertions must inevitably take a toll on his playing personnel.
Hughton opted to name an unchanged line-up from the midweek trip to St Mary’s and the City boss paid tribute to his men’s staying power for repelling the Black Cats.
“I came out of the treatment room at the end of the game and there are a few with knocks and bruises – which is probably a consequence of so many games and the players have had a tough time, but I don’t think it is anything too significant,” he said.
“I thought we were excellent in the first half and it is difficult to sustain that for 90 minutes, particularly when you play a third game in a week. I know it was the same for them, but they had an extra day (to recover) and some of the things you question is whether do you need fresh legs.”
Hughton confirmed afterwards England keeper John Ruddy had undergone successful surgery over the weekend on the torn thigh injured at Goodison Park that will sideline Norwich’s number one until well into the New Year.
“Yes, he has and the surgery has all gone very, very well – which they always do these days with the expertise,” said Hughton. “Now it’s about recovery. Hopefully the time limit will be about three months and we are looking forward to him getting back with the squad.”
Mark Bunn’s impressive displays have so far limited the potential damage of Ruddy’s long term injury absence, with City’s deputy keeper playing his part in helping to continue the club’s Premier League revival.
“Confidence is the key,” said Hughton. “We had two bad ones against Liverpool and Chelsea, but the form wasn’t so bad. We knew we had to do something. We had to get back to basics and make ourselves hard to beat. That was a good foundation and we have added some goals on top of that now.
“This does feel a big win, but we are a club and a team who know what it takes to get results. Any win is a big win in this league. We are always looking at the next one so if you can plan for a result and it comes then it makes the next one that little bit easier.
“Yes, it was a big one. We are at home and we know we are going to need to have a decent home record. The only stats that are really enjoyable are the ones at the end of the season.
“What it says is we are in good form right now and we are a confident team. It is wonderful for the lads because they deserve it.”