Hughton prepared for Jol test

Chris Hughton is relishing the chance to pick his wits against mentor Martin Jol when Norwich host Fulham on Saturday.

Last Updated: 07/02/13 at 17:24 Post Comment

Jol and Hughton: Will be in opposing dugouts at Carrow Road

Jol and Hughton: Will be in opposing dugouts at Carrow Road

Norwich manager Chris Hughton is looking forward to trying to outfox his mentor when his side take on Fulham in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Hughton spent three years as Martin Jol's assistant at Tottenham and admits learning from the current Fulham boss was a vital part of his managerial education.

The game has extra spice after Fulham beat Norwich 5-0 at Craven Cottage in the opening game of the season - and because the clubs are level on 28 points and desperate not to get sucked into the relegation scramble.

Hughton is a big admirer of the way Fulham have established themselves in the Premier League and sees them as a template for what he is trying to do at Carrow Road.

Hughton said: "Martin is a very good coach and manager and it was no surprise that after leaving Tottenham he went to Hamburg and Ajax. He is someone I have a lot of time for.

"In my time at Tottenham I probably worked closer with him than any of the other managers. We got on very well.

"I certainly learned from him, the way he sets up his teams and what he wants from them, the relationships he has with players. I learned an enormous amount from him.

"Fulham are a very well established Premier League team now. They have had to do it on a certain budget, very similar to ourselves. they have been able to develop year in and year out and as a club we can aspire to that too.

"Knowing Martin he won't be satisfied, He will want and expect them to finish higher than they are. They have a lot of good offensive options which allows them to be in most games."

Norwich have stabilised with two draws, against Tottenham and QPR, after a run of five defeats in six.

Hughton described midfielders Anthony Pilkington and Alex Tettey as "touch and go" for Saturday with hamstring and knee problems respectively, but reported a clean bill of health after his players returned from the midweek internationals.

In fact, he is hoping Wes Hoolahan will lift the spirits of his side after the midfielder came off the bench to score his first goal for the Republic of Ireland in the 2-0 win against Poland.

The 29-year-old playmaker marked his second game for Ireland with an ice-cool finish to surely cement his place in the squad to face Sweden and Austria in the World Cup qualifiers next month.

Hughton said: "I'm delighted for him. He's been on the radar for some time. It's always a special moment getting that first goal and he'll be on a high at the moment.

"He does have wonderful ability. Can he add more goals here? Yes he can, but the biggest facet of his game is his creativity and the fact that he keeps the ball for us."

Loan signing striker Kei Kamara, who has arrived from Sporting Kansas City in MLS, trained for the first time this morning with his new team-mates but is unlikely to feature against Fulham.

"He's done well but we will assess him overnight and tomorrow. He can play anywhere across the forward line and scores goals and makes assists and will be a valuable asset but he is a little bit behind in match practice," said Hughton.


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