Norwich City boss Chris Hughton keeping an eye on Premier League rivals
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists it is never too early to keep a watchful eye on your potential Premier League rivals.
The Canaries headed into the international shutdown after two encouraging top flight draws against QPR and Tottenham following the heavy opening day defeat to Fulham.
Swansea and West Brom have shown impressive early season form to set the pace near the top and Hughton knows the long term value of staying in touch with the clubs City would expect to compete against.
'I think it is normal that you tend to look at the teams who you feel will be bottom half. You generally are going to look at them and they are the results you don't want to go well. That is just a normal reaction,' said the Norwich manager.
'I think this is going to be a tough season when you see how well Swansea and West Brom have started. I think it will be a season of some surprise results. That was the case last year with all three promoted teams staying up.
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'That is something which has become a possibility over the last few years. Ultimately the bigger teams will always finish in that top six or seven but underneath them there will be periods of surprise results.
'The size of the challenge doesn't change. It is still very, very early days. It will be a difficult campaign and a challenging campaign. That will be the same for a group of teams and we have to make sure we are better than enough of the teams in that group.'
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Robert Snodgrass' maiden goal for the club salvaged a merited draw at White Hart Lane after Mousa Dembele's second half opener.
The Scottish international has looked a major attacking threat allied to his quality service from wide areas since arriving from Leeds – and Hughton is predicting more to come.
'He has adapted well because he was a player who was desperate to play in the Premier League,' he said. 'He has had a good apprenticeship at Leeds and performed very, very well. I think if ever there is a player who has learnt his trade and got better it is Robert. He is an offensive player and I hope what we see is what we have seen in the past, adding goals to his game.
'It's new for him – he's a good age and he's got a lot of energy to his game. If he wants to shine in this division then he is going to have to make sure that he keeps producing in the way that he has and add goals on top of that.
'He is a threat and when you have that type of player the question you ask is, 'Can they work both ways?' He is a natural forward but he is prepared to work back and put in a shift and he has good quality on the ball and he will be an asset for us.'