Chris Hughton feels the agony as Norwich City miss out again
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's 2-2 Premier League draw against Swansea merely underlined the maddening frustration of Premier League management for Chris Hughton.
The Canaries' chief has spent most of this season striving to unlock the attacking potential of his squad to supplement defensive resolution, but on a day when they struck a rare brace, City's hunt for a priceless win was hindered by laxness at the back.
Michu smashed the opener and then spurned two clear chances after the break around Luke Moore's 75th minute equaliser, following goals in either half from Robert Snodgrass and Michael Turner that ensured City's rising draw count climbed ever higher.
'You sit and agonise about decisions,' said Hughton. 'A penalty we should have got up at Sunderland, a missed penalty (against Southampton). Every poor goal you conceded might be the one that got you a victory, every missed chance so, no, it is not an easy job and your mind is working 100mph every day. You have to have faith in the team, what you are doing and look forward to the next game.
'What we wanted was a win here, but nothing changes. You still have to get enough points from the six games left to secure your Premier League status. We have three at home and some tough ones away but all the teams around us are capable of winning games. We need to show the good things we did here.'
Hughton felt Kei Kamara's close range chance just before Moore's equaliser was a pivotal moment after City had scored twice for only the second time in the league since late December.
'If you look at the chances and probably for us, a team who have found it a little bit more difficult to score goals, particularly here at home, the one Kamara had was probably the best of the game for us. That may have seen us get all three points,' he said. 'We got ourselves into some good goalscoring chances, but we conceded I thought two poor goals. If you look at how solid we are, especially at home, then I felt they were soft.
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'When you do score two goals you hope it will be enough to win a game because that is what we have found difficult of late. We have spoken about the goals we conceded after the game because I thought they were poor, but I am quite sure that Swansea might look at it a little bit differently and feel on the balance of play it was a fair result.'
Hughton's room for manouvere to alter the flow of the game was hindered by an early groin injury for the returning Mark Bunn that leaves him a major doubt for this weekend's trip to Arsenal. Deputy Lee Camp produced one superb block from Moore in the second period but had no chance with the former Aston Villa striker's point blank strike.
'Bringing Campy in was certainly a good move for us,' said Hughton. 'I thought he had a few difficult back passes because the pitch is a little bit bobbly at times and he had to deal with a few of those. When you have that sort of disruption so early in the game it is a bit of blow for you. It also affects what you are able to do with your substitutions but Campy did well. Mark has damaged his groin. We'll see how he is over the next couple of days. I don't think it is too bad but whether it is bad enough to keep him out for the next game or a series of games I don't know yet.'
Hughton confirmed England international keeper John Ruddy will step up his recovery from a long term thigh injury in today's scheduled development league trip to Newcastle. Ruddy has not featured in the first team since undergoing surgery before Christmas.