May 23 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Chris Hughton attaches no greater importance to Southampton’s Premier League visit ahead of the first of five battles against clubs fighting for their top-flight lives.
Norwich have their destiny firmly in their own hands over the run-in and Hughton knows they can also potentially inflict damaging blows on many of the relegation candidates.
“There is an added incentive when you play the teams around you that you can deny them points as well. That is quite obvious to say but the approach is no different,” he said. “They are games you don’t want to lose but more importantly it is a home game and for clubs like us we know the success of our season will be based around the home form. The longer the season goes it is another ticked off. Yes, playing the teams around us are games we don’t want to lose but we have 10 left and we have to make sure we get the required points from those 10 in whichever fashion. I think QPR have shown how things can tighten up with a win last weekend and Reading up until the last game or two were on a good run. What you have in the group of teams just below is clubs who can win games. They only need to put two or three wins together so you can’t afford to relax. There are too many stories in recent seasons of clubs and players in good positions that have eventually gone down.”
Hughton is adamant handling pressure is a staple requirement in the Premier League – whether you face the struggling Saints or a trip to Manchester United.
“I think there is pressure with every game,” he said. “If you are travelling to Old Trafford you know how difficult that is and that is a type of pressure. When you play the top teams at home there is still a pressure to perform and when you are at home against teams lower down there is pressure because the expectations of the crowd will be different.
“The release from that pressure is when things are going well and we have had periods of that this season. As much as we possibly can myself, my staff and my players have to stay level-headed.”
In the first of a three-part series dissecting the Canaries’ successful battle to retain their Premier League status, Norwich City writer Paddy Davitt turns the spotlight on the goalkeepers and those men deployed to thwart some of the best striking talent in the global game.