July 24 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton expects to learn a whole lot more about his squad today when they swap Celtic Park for Peterborough’s London Road.
The Canaries’ rose to the occasion in Glasgow with Grant Holt’s late match-winner capping an assured display against the SPL champions.
Hughton has been in the game long enough to realise City’s Premier League prospects this season rest much more on repeating their success against the lesser lights. The Norwich boss predicts facing Darren Ferguson’s Championship outfit will provide a useful early barometer.
“It’s always a tough game - whether you are playing a team you feel on paper you are better than, that is still a challenge,” he said. “Peterborough enjoy playing at home and enjoy scoring goals.
“I might be wrong on this but I think they were the only team in the Championship last season who didn’t keep a clean sheet. That is the way they play; there were a lot of high-scoring games and entertainment.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge to go Peterborough after playing at a big stadium because that would be detrimental to Peterborough, who are a very good club, but Celtic was a magnificent stadium that can raise the enthusiasm levels of players and it is about doing it consistently week in, week out - whether that is pre-season or in the league itself.”
Hughton’s initial impressions a matter of weeks into the job remain hugely favourable. The City chief wants to be judged at the end of the pending campaign, but believes he has the raw materials to build on the work of Paul Lambert.
“It is a stable club. From the moment I walked through the door the feel I had was exactly the right one,” he said. “This is a club that has had two promotions over the last two years and of course had a very good Premier League season so I think if there wasn’t a good feel about the club then there would be something wrong.
“You have got a good group of lads and what Paul did was make changes each season and added to the squad. The end product has always been the same and that is to get a group of lads who want to work and fight for each other. It is a good scenario to be walking into - probably only hindsight will tell how good. If we have a good season then that will be the case even more so, but what I do know is it’s my responsibility to sustain the good things and that is the challenge.”
Steven Whittaker’s ankle injury was the one downside to a useful midweek Celtic outing. The Scottish international was withdrawn in the first half as a precautionary measure.
Steve Morison did feature after missing the opening Hertha Berlin game with an ankle problem. Midfielder David Fox has yet to be involved in the initial friendly fixtures after what Hughton labelled a ‘slight niggle’ suffered over the summer recess.