Confidence is a big concern for Norwich City manager Chris Hughton
Ebbing confidence is a real concern for Chris Hughton after Norwich's Premier League hammering against Liverpool.
City's new-found defensive resolve was sorely missing, along with injured centre back Sebastien Bassong who was ruled out with a hamstring problem. City's re-shaped backline were terrorised for the second consecutive season by Luis Suarez and Hughton is well aware of the residual scarring from another chastening top flight experience.
'Yes and rightly so. There has to be a concern,' he said. 'My biggest concern is that we have conceded five goals, when I would like to have been able to talk about the overall performance and keeping in the game and creating chances and opportunities ourselves. When you are 1-0 down so early and a second one just before half-time it makes it a real uphill battle. Fair play to the lads we kept going and we did get our chances. Snoddy (Robert Snodgrass) early in that second half, Holty has got off the mark, (Andrew) Surman on that far post when you thought he had to hit the target when it rattled around. We just made life too difficult for ourselves and when that third goal went in it became a real hard uphill battle.'
Hughton will hope for some positive medical bulletins this week on both Basssong and Anthony Pilkington (back) ahead of a potentially daunting trip to European champions Chelsea.
The City chief has already proved he is more than happy to shuffle his pack on a weekly basis to deal with the immediate threat. Wes Hoolahan's omission against Liverpool took many by surprise after his impressive return to the side against Newcastle the previous weekend, with Hughton keen to nullify the visitors' threat down the flanks.
'I wanted to go four across midfield and Wes had played off the front for me the other week,' he said. 'With us at home I wanted us to seize the opportunity to be more aggressive and play with two strikers. That is the only reason why we left him out.
'We know what he can give the team but with Wes in the side you have to adjust that midfield slightly and with what they had in the wide areas we had to make sure we had a four across there. It is always a tough decision. Wes on the pitch today, if we look at the overall performance, would not have changed too much for us overall as a defensive unit. Sebastien and Anthony were not close for this game. We hope they are available for next week.'