Chris Hughton has no fears over Norwich City captain Seb Bassong

Norwich City captain Sebastien Bassong can count on the backing of Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Ch

Norwich City captain Sebastien Bassong can count on the backing of Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton has backed captain Seb Bassong to prove his worth over Norwich City's Premier League run-in.

Bassong conceded a costly penalty against Stoke that allowed the Potters to earn a point in a 1-1 Carrow Road draw following his own goal at Villa Park the previous weekend, but Hughton insists Bassong will respond in the right manner. The Cameroon international centre-back capped an impressive debut season by winning the club's player-of-the-year award and Hughton is adamant the 27-year-old is a key man for battles ahead.

'Overall I have been happy with Seb this season,' he said. 'It is fair to say he didn't have his best game (against Villa) and he has been involved again on the penalty, but overall I have not been disappointed with his performances. He is a big character and we need as many big characters as we can for the challenge ahead. He is a big player for us and if I look at his performance against Stoke I think he took responsibility at the back with the way they operated with just one player up front. He tries to make things happen for the team and I felt it was a very soft penalty, but it turned out to be a big moment.'

Hughton insists City still control their own fate even though the likes of Crystal Palace, West Brom and Sunderland now have games in hand.

'We are not the only ones around us in the table who are not playing at the levels they would like,' he said. 'That is why we are all down there. We haven't been consistent enough. We know things have been missing in our game otherwise we would not be in the position we are in. I genuinely feel at times we have not got what we deserved but it is easy to say that the only place we can answer is on the football pitch. We are part of a large group and when you are one of them you quickly look at the other results and hope they go in your favour.'