Chris Hughton in bullish mood ahead of Norwich City’s Premier League run-in
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Chris Hughton has backed his Norwich City players to come out fighting over the Premier League run-in.
The Canaries' boss insists they will not shirk the challenge ahead with the club embroiled in one of the tightest relegation battles for years following the damaging 1-0 defeat at Wigan.
Norwich host Swansea this weekend currently 14th in the standings among a clutch of seven top flight rivals separated by just four points, with Reading and QPR further adrift at the bottom.
'We said before the weekend there is a group of teams that can get pulled into this one,' said Hughton. 'Yes, there is a number of clubs in there fighting now but that is something we knew. Our season was always going to be based on the three points you can get at home and then anything else you get away. Our destiny was always going to be about the results at home. We have four home games and we have to look after ourselves.
'The players have to do it – and they've always responded. Our season has gone very much up and down, we've had very good runs and we've had dips. That's how it's gone. I think that's the nature of it with clubs of our stature. It's very difficult to be consistent week in, week out. What we have been is solid generally. We just need to make sure we can find the goals that are going to win us games.'
Hughton insists there were positives to take from Wigan to build on ahead of the Swans' Carrow Road visit.
'We need to make sure we remember the good things we did from Wigan,' he said. 'Any defeat is damaging but it is how you react from that. Any team in our position would say the same. It is uncomfortable but the only way to change it is to get the wins and the points we need. That starts with our next game at home against Swansea. You have to be confident you have the players and the squad to do that but now we have to show it.'
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The Latics' were the biggest winners over Easter after beating Norwich to edge above Aston Villa on goal difference. Villa slipped back into the final relegation place following a home defeat to Liverpool and Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes surviving for an eighth consecutive season would be an unbelievable achievement.
'We are a great advert as a football club in regards to how we face adversity,' he said. 'It is a tough, tough journey. It would be very unfair to call the time of Wigan Athletic in the Premier League a struggle. If anything it has been an incredible, fascinating time. We are a football club who to have eight seasons in the Premier League is an example for any club who want to come into this level. Year after year we are losing good players who move on and we find the answers. That is what excites me. For us to stay up or stay in this division is like winning a title. Every club has different targets.'