Former Norwich City forward Ruel Fox is confident manager Chris Hughton can consolidate the club’s Premier League status – whether or not they have to wait a bit longer for that first victory of the season.

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Hughton returns to one of his former clubs on Sunday when the Canaries take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park (3pm), still looking for the first league win of his reign.

Fox, who spent a year and a half with the Magpies, has a sneaking feeling City will not return home from the North East empty-handed, but believes that whatever the result, their new boss will prove a success at Carrow Road.

The 44-year-old ex-Canary knows Hughton’s capabilities as a coach from his five-year spell as a player at Tottenham.

“Paul Lambert was a hard act to follow at Norwich, anyone who’s as successful as that would be,” said Fox.

“Not every manager would have wanted to take on that job but Chris is a very confident person.

“I knew Chris while I was at Tottenham and he was on the coaching staff. He worked with the reserves and later the first team and we got on well.

“He’s come to Norwich and inherited a successful squad and he just has to stamp his authority on it. It won’t happen overnight but I think they’re starting to gel.

“The players have to understand that the second season in the Premier League is often harder. They had that surprise element last season and there was a sense of ‘We’re here, let’s enjoy it’ but the second time around the clubs all know how Norwich play.

“There have been a few additions to the squad and it will take time to settle down but they seem to be playing well, it’s just a case of knocking the goals in. I saw the highlights of the game at Tottenham and I thought they were fantastic.”

Fox made his first visit to Carrow Road for a while to watch last week’s goalless draw against West Ham United.

“It looked like one of those games where in the end both teams were happy with a draw, but Chris will look at it as two points dropped because you look to win your home games,” he said.

“But there are a lot of teams all fighting for the same thing. The Premier League is like three leagues in one and realistically Norwich and West Ham are likely to be in that lower tier.

“You have to take a deep breath and be a bit sensible. Survival is the main thing and anything above that is a bonus.”

Hughton’s shock dismissal by Newcastle in 2010, after winning the Championship title and 60 per cent of his matches as manager, could act as an added incentive on Sunday.

“Newcastle were in a worse position than Norwich when he took that job in terms of the squad he had,” said Fox.

“Chris started off the turnaround up there and it worked well for him but things like that happen in football. It doesn’t matter if the manager is being loyal and doing well, the owner decided Chris wasn’t the man to take the club any further forwards.”

Fox, who scored 25 goals in 219 senior games for the Canaries, earned a £2.25m move to Newcastle in 1994, where manager Kevin Keegan thrust him into a side that boasted the attacking talents of Peter Beardsley, David Ginola and Les Ferdinand. He played 70 times and scored 14 goals before joining Tottenham.

In Fox’s one full season with Newcastle, they finished sixth in the Premier League, while at Norwich he sampled the heady heights of third place under Mike Walker in 1992-93.

City are unlikely to scale such heights again as in that first Premier League season, but Fox believes the trip to Tyneside can bear fruit.

“Norwich will be hoping Newcastle are a bit tired after their European game, but I think they will use the squad, they’ve got enough players to change it round,” he said.

“But you may see a different performance from Norwich up there. There isn’t the pressure because they’re not expected to win and if they’re more relaxed they can play well.

“The pressure is on Newcastle. I’m confident they will come away with something.”

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13 comments

  • Hear, hear, goldie. The team performed really well v QPR & Spurs and deserved 2 wins. Though the game v WHU was less beautiful, City still had way more chances to score. One of our strikers and\or attacking midfielders needs to get into the groove pronto.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • "White Carrot". There's nout wrong with Hoolahan, he's talented and on his day one helluva player, When it comes to guile, we have few - if any - better. I just don't support the 'one trick pony' philosophy. Stop Hoolahan you stop Norwich - no thanks! I am sure he figures somewhere in CH's battleplan. I don't see huge problems in midfield (v Spurs?) With a little more composure from our forwards, and not facing two keepers, at the very top of their game, more points would be on the board. But hey, they're not. By the way, CH is listed as 5'7", that's a tad more than 4', surely? Whatever his vantage point, I'm pretty sure he has a keener eye, than you or I?

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    Dissaster

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Diss, Sorry for the delay, but I only get up once a day. I may appear twopence short of a shilling to you, but I try not to be offensive...It seems that the moderator has pulled the plug on his machine, and the last thing needed, is for it to be reinstated.... For all my faults, I do not have to enter all my comments TWICE.

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • @Stew Pyd (accurate) Try reading my post, instead of merely reacting to it, attempting to be smart. The clue is in the word "SOLE", which, with a pre-syllable would describe you. That's humour - I've just done a METHodical "number" on you.

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    Dissaster

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • @Stew Pyd (accurate) Try reading my post, instead of merely reacting to it, attempting to be smart. The clue is in the word "SOLE", which, with a pre-syllable would describe you. That's humour - I've just done a METHodical "number" on you.

    Report this comment

    Dissaster

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • @Stew. I too have no wish to be, or appear offensive. I have stated on a recent post, I don't come on this board to start, or sustain a war. But I will give as good as I get. Of course there will be disagreements, but the manner of such should have boundaries. I look forward to clashing swords with you in future, in a more temperate. manner? OK with you? By the way, these duplication of posts - it's beyond me. Most certainly not intentional. Seems to happen to others too.

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    Dissaster

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • The 4ft was not about the height of any player, but about the view that those sitting in the dugout would have. Not the best vantage point to see ALLof the action.

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    Pa Snipps

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Under Lambert City were losing a lot of games after Christmas last season so you cant expect them to suddenly become world beaters with the finances available. As a fan all I want to see is a team fighting to do their best and I will be satisfied.

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    goldie

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Goldie! Have you given much thought as to why things went a bit pear shaped towards the end of last season. Maybe the then manager had other things on his mind. We certainly had some unusual team selections, something that can happen when names are drawn from a hat.... We are lucky to have a stronger squad this time around, and I believe if and when our current manager gets his midfield working together again, he will be amazed at the success he will have. He started at the back and must be working on the midfield artists by now........Mad Brewer, it's nice to see you back wearing your proper coat!.

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    Pa Snipps

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Dissasster, As you are probably awear, meths is one of my stranger abbilities. It seems quit clear to me that if City ave got a string defince, and they dont let in no goals all season, and we are unabel to scare, at the other end, we wood finish up with 38pts. Do you thunk that wood be enuff for another season in the prem? Cos at the monemt we are headin for 37pts

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Dissarster?MB.!.. It's called “Generalising”... Rather than naming names this time, I concluded that hero worshipping Hoolahan was not to everybody's liking. Therefore I've opened up the discussion for you to include lesser gifted players....A job has to be done midfield, and at present he is the man for the job. This is not always apparent to those who sit with their noses 4ft above the grass, and often a long way from the action.

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    Pa Snipps

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • My, my "White Carrot", haven't we changed our tune??? CH, not so bad after all - no more cries for the inclusion of Mr Hoolahan at all costs? Finally understanding the value of a sound defence - the scoring of goals, not the sole agenda? Truly an epiphanous moment!Glad to be of assistance, chum.

    Report this comment

    Dissaster

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • My, my "White Carrot", haven't we changed our tune??? CH, not so bad after all - no more cries for the inclusion of Mr Hoolahan at all costs? Finally understanding the value of a sound defence - the scoring of goals, not the sole agenda? Truly an epiphanous moment!Glad to be of assistance, chum.

    Report this comment

    Dissaster

    Friday, September 21, 2012

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