Chris Hughton is building a bright future at Norwich City

Robert Snodgrass was one of the Canaries' outstanding performers over the course of the Premier Leag

Robert Snodgrass was one of the Canaries' outstanding performers over the course of the Premier League campaign. Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton's success in guiding Norwich to Premier League safety was one of the managerial achievements of the season, insists former top flight boss and respected pundit Iain Dowie.

The ex-Crystal Palace and Coventry manager predicts the Canaries will now go from strength to strength with Hughton at the helm.

He said: 'You look at the side and there are definitely reasons to think they will improve. You see the way Jonny Howson finished the season and for me when Norwich took him he was the best player in the Championship.

'He took his time to settle in perhaps but you look at him, you look at Sebastien Bassong, Robert Snodgrass was outstanding and Wes Hoolahan continues to grow into the league. Now they are bringing in players like (Ricky) van Wolfswinkel so I see a lot of positives there.

'They look a well-rounded unit, they have a very decent goalkeeper, they are sound defensively and they are also a very young side. I think they tick a lot of boxes. That is a testament to Chris Hughton, who I think was one of the best managers of the year. That was a really difficult job he took on and after what (Paul) Lambert had achieved it was a thankless task in many ways.'

Dowie, speaking on the Premier League's official podcast show, was joined by City full-back Russell Martin who backed the former Northern Irish international's assessment on Hughton's debut season at the club.

Martin said: 'The gaffer identified early on what he wanted to address and that was to cut the number of goals we had conceded and we kept a lot more clean sheets - particularly away from home we looked to soak up pressure and hit sides on the counter. Funnily enough it seemed to work better against the top teams because you have to soak up a lot of pressure, but then you will get a chance to attack in numbers. We took points off five of the top six where against teams around us perhaps we didn't do as well as we would have liked, but the gaffer came in and did a fantastic job. The aim was to stay up and we did that.'

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