Norwich City’s final flourish delights Chris Hughton
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Manager Chris Hughton declared himself 'delighted' as Norwich City clinched their highest finish in the English football ladder for 20 years with a memorable 3-2 victory over Premier League runners-up Manchester City on their own ground.
Goals from Anthony Pilkington, Grant Holt and Jonny Howson gave the Canaries only their second away win of the season and gave them a total of 44 points and a final position of 11th, eight points clear of the bottom three.
It was City's best finish since they were third in the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93, and one place higher than they achieved under former boss Paul Lambert a year ago, though with three fewer points.
It was a case of all's well that ends well for Hughton after three wins in the last five games.
'I'm absolutely delighted with that and I suppose it shows that irrespective of the anxiety and the nervousness of certain periods, it is really just about where you finish at the end of the season,' he said.
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'We're delighted to have done that. We've done it in spells.
'We had a very good spell before Christmas when we were excellent, we found it difficult after Christmas to get the wins we needed, but we finished the season strongly.'It would have been nice to have been a little more consistent right the way through but I'm delighted to have finished where we have.
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'We had a very tough act to follow after the last three years. The club has been very successful in that period of time, but we've got a group of lads who have been very resilient and have picked themselves up every time we've gone through a bad phase.'
City took just three points from their first seven league games of the season, but ended up one point and one place above Fulham, who thrashed them 5-0 on the opening day nine months ago.
'Even up to a couple of months ago, when we were having a difficult spell, most people couldn't have seen us finishing in 11th place. But that's the league and it's about getting the results where you can and hitting good form when you can,' said Hughton.