Norwich City boss Chris Hughton rues dropped points in Premier League draw at Aston Villa
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich City should have claimed a first Premier League away win of the campaign at Paul Lambert's ten-man Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime.
Michael Turner's superb late glancing header cancelled out Christian Benteke's first half opener but the hosts were indebted to keeper Brad Guzan who denied Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt in either half.
Hughton was content with the point following last week's welcome home win over Arsenal, but the City chief felt it could have been the full house after Villa were reduced to ten men for the final 40 minutes when defender Joe Bennett was dismissed for a second yellow card after hauling back Elliott Bennett.
'Yes, I do think we could have got all three points,' he said. 'I think if it is 0-0 then it is different but when you are 1-0 down you are always delighted to get back into the game. If it was 0-0 and we had the chances we had at the end then you are probably more disappointed. It was a real opportunity for us but you have to give (Aston) Villa credit. They had to defend it and they did it sufficiently. You could almost look at the game, apart from possession and the balance of play in the final third, you could almost look at it as three clear-cut chances. They had one they put away with (Christian) Benteke and we had arguably two just as good with Holty and Wes. We stuck in the game and came out with a real good attitude in the second half and we forced the issue. I think I would have been confident enough we would have got back into the game even against 11 men on the park.'
Former Norwich boss Lambert felt Bennett's sending off was pivotal after watching his side prolong the club's worst start to a season since 1986.
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'I think that was key. We were defending quite strongly and we were brilliant defensively. I thought Elliott was holding him just as much so it could have gone either way,' he said. 'When I first saw it I thought he had put himself in a position he didn't need to with him already being booked but Elliott had a hold of Joe as well. It was an even contest. The lad is disappointed but he will learn from it. He'll be fine. He'll mull over it for a couple of days. We'll be alright.
'I just think we will. I have total belief in the players. We have some big games coming up but you won't need to lift anybody. They will raise the bar.'
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