Chris Hughton’s plea to Norwich City supporters
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Chris Hughton has appealed to Norwich City's support to help drag the Canaries over the finishing line in their Premier League survival battle.
City's 2-2 draw against Swansea at Carrow Road tested the patience of Norwich's manager and sections of the Carrow Road crowd, with the Swans dictating possession for long spells.
Robert Snodgrass' first half equaliser five minutes after Michu had fired the Capital One Cup winners ahead transformed the mood, but Luke Moore's 75th minute close range finish denied Norwich the win after Michael Turner had slammed the hosts' in front.
City remain four points clear of third-from bottom Wigan, who still have a game in hand, after their last-gasp equaliser yesterday at QPR and Hughton admitted Norwich's loyal fan base can expect fresh drama over the run-in. The Canaries now have six Premier League matches left, starting with this Saturday's trip to Arsenal, with the likes of relegation-threatened Reading and Aston Villa still to vist Norfolk.
'You have a support that wants you to do well. There is always that little bit of anxiety that sets in but it's difficult. We're going to need this support now as much as at any time,' said Hughton. 'We know we have to give them something to cheer about but they showed how much they can help during our best spells of the game. It is going to be a tight last six games of the season and we need to show as much determination. If we do that we have every chance.
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'Yes, you can sense that frustration with the crowd because we are certainly at that period of the season when it makes everybody that little bit anxious. You have to have belief in the players and what I was really pleased about through that anxious period was the response of the players.'
Hughton insists his squad's fighting spirit is not in doubt.
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'You can't accuse the team of not putting in an effort and not trying because they are. Sometimes things don't go as well, but the timing of our first goal was good,' he said. 'They showed how desperately they wanted to win this football match and if we show the same belief and the confidence we showed in this game then we will have done enough.
'We put ourselves in a reasonably commanding position, if not in terms of possession, but then there are not too many teams who will out-pass Swansea.
'I was fairly comfortable at 2-1. I felt we could hold and even try to improve the lead because you knew they would have to take chances and we did of course have a wonderful opportunity with Kei Kamara.'
The Sierre Leone international was thwarted inside the six-yard box after being picked out by Snodgrass, but Moore's equaliser just three minutes later set up a tense finale.
'That is the part that hurts you more than anything,' said Hughton. 'You set the team up and irrespective of what others may feel they deserve, at 2-1 and us being the home team we were enjoying a period of good play. For them to get the equaliser is a tough one. At that stage you have to dig deep again because they get the lift from it.'