Hughton defends changes

Chris Hughton has defended his decision to make wholesale changes to his Norwich side for the weekend defeat at Southampton.

Last Updated: 17/03/14 at 14:41 Post Comment

Chris Hughton: Norwich boss blamed lack of consistency for his changes

Chris Hughton: Norwich boss blamed lack of consistency for his changes

The Canaries boss dropped captain Sebastien Bassong and club-record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel from the previous weekend's draw at home to Stoke and brought five new players in for the trip to St Mary's.

Gary Hooper, who has not scored since Boxing Day, was given the opportunity to spearhead a front three, with Ryan Bennett, Joseph Yobo, Anthony Pilkington and Robert Snodgrass all given the nod.

And despite late goals from Johan Elmander and Snodgrass, Saints proved far superior, running out 4-2 winners to keep City firmly entrenched in a relegation dogfight.

"We have lacked that consistency which is why I made a few changes," said Hughton. "I wanted to give others an opportunity to come in and put pressure on the lads they were replacing.

"What you can do as a manager is prepare during the week, set the team up but you are then reliant on good individual displays. It was a reaction to form.

"We did well with a couple of clean sheets but then we were disappointed with the Stoke result and sometimes you just feel you want to freshen things up, irrespective of the time of the season.

"You generally know what your best XI is but we have competition here and I wanted to use it.

"We have a lot of players who have played a lot of games and our form has been disappointing.

"They are all difficult decisions whenever you change the team but we have others who are fit and pushing to be in the team and competition in the squad and all I try to do is pick the best side for each opponent."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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