Norwich City boss Chris Hughton targets Premier League progression

Norwich boss Chris Hughton is striving for constant Premier League improvement. Picture by Paul Ches

Norwich boss Chris Hughton is striving for constant Premier League improvement. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton is seeking the marginal gains to help establish Norwich City as a permanent fixture in the Premier League over the long term.

The Canaries' manager successfully guided the club to a third consecutive season in the top flight earlier this month, but Hughton's knows what is required to try and emulate the longevity of rivals like Stoke and West Brom.

He said: 'There were some really good stats this season. The facts are we had 10 clean sheets and in addition to that out of 38 games, we had 22 we either drew or lost by the odd goal. Those aspects we got right. What we needed to address is getting those additional goals that turn draws into wins and those defeats into draws and we found it difficult.

'The only way you go to that next level is to continue to do this for a number of years. This will still be only our third season coming up. For Stoke it will seven, I think, West Brom in recent times have a history of going down but coming straight back up and they are a well-balanced club. We still have work to do. Will next season be significantly easier than this season? No, I don't think it will be. It'll be about how we approach the season and the improvements we make. We need to be a better team than this season.'

Norwich's strong finish to the campaign with wins against the Baggies and Manchester City were in contrast to their struggles to build on a club-record Premier League unbeaten run before Christmas.

Hughton said: 'I remember looking at the table at that stage and we were 10 points clear of the bottom three.

'We then went on a downward spiral and sometimes when we are you have to try and do things different and it becomes tough to get out of it. We found it difficult to get the right formulas. The ironic thing is if I look at the first seven games we had two really poor ones - the first one away at Fulham and Liverpool at home. We picked up three draws, Spurs away being one where we had a good performance, and we should have won the West Ham game at home and QPR at home.'