Norwich City need no extra motivation to take on Premier League champions Manchester United

Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington scores the winner in last season's 1-0 Premier League win

Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington scores the winner in last season's 1-0 Premier League win over Manchester United. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Manchester United's visit is all the motivation Norwich City's players will need to bounce back from a Boxing Day to forget against Fulham.

Chris Hughton insisted on Fridaythere was no time for recriminations after a 2-1 Premier League defeat to the Cottagers with the reigning champions heading to town.

'It is never difficult to pick players up. The reason they do what they do here is because they are good professionals,' he said. 'Defeats hurt so I don't need to give them harsh words but just point out the reality of the situation. Yes, we had a de-brief but it was more about Manchester United. You have to look forward. It is not difficult to pick them up and particularly when a game comes around against Manchester United in a couple of days. We are all disappointed, but you know defeats happen. We are conscious of where we are in the league and also more importantly where we want to get to. You are always concerned but at this moment we are three points clear of the relegation zone and three points from being in 10th place; that is how close the margins are. We saw on Boxing Day three of the bottom clubs all win away from home and we are striving to make that gap below us bigger. We don't particularly want to be in the position we are, but we must concentrate on these next series of games.'

City suffered no fresh injury concerns against Fulham with midfielder Jonny Howson again the main doubt after missing the festive period with a back injury. He is one we are continually assessing but, yes, he is doubtful although we have not given up hope.'

Hughton will be forced into one change with Michael Turner suspended. Ryan Bennett and Russell Martin are in the frame to replace the centre-back.

'Obviously Michael is out and he was on four bookings for a while so perhaps we got more games out of him than we might have expected,' said Hughton. 'I always say it is an opportunity for someone else. Russell can do a job there for us. He is always in my thoughts. It goes without saying the options we have are Ryan Bennett who has played there and certainly done well in a couple of games and Russ. They would be my two options.'