Hughton expects to avoid drop

Manager Chris Hughton is confident his Norwich team will be playing in the Barclays Premier League next season.

Last Updated: 04/04/13 at 16:05 Post Comment   

Chris Hughton: Believes Norwich will avoid the drop

Chris Hughton: Believes Norwich will avoid the drop

Manager Chris Hughton is confident his Norwich team will be playing in the Barclays Premier League next season despite a dreadful run which has seen them win just once in their past 14 league matches.

Norwich currently lie in 14th place, four points above the relegation zone with seven games remaining but have been sucked into trouble after scoring only five league goals this year.

Hughton, who took over as manager at Carrow Road last summer, believes the spirit in his squad ultimately will ensure safety.

Norwich take on League Cup winners Swansea at home on Saturday and asked whether each remaining game would be tantamount to a cup final, Hughton said: "I think so. It doesn't mean a bad result in any of those games is the end of the world. You have to go again, just as you can't sit on a good result, you have to get another after that.

"It will not be determined by one game but we have got ourselves into a position where it is in our own hands and the spirit is good."

Hughton, however, insists that Norwich's slide since the turn of the year has to be considered along with the fact that it is only the club's second season back in the Premier League.

"We have to accept where we are as a club," Hughton said.

"Look around us and teams that have got less points than us or fractionally more than us are clubs which have been in this division for more years than we have of late and have more experience and bigger budgets. We could take strength from that."

Hughton reckons 40 points, or two more wins, will see Norwich safe and takes comfort from the fact that four of their last seven matches are at Carrow Road, including the visit of ninth-placed Swansea.

He said: "Our home form will be important. We have to use that advantage with the tremendous support. We need to give them something to shout about. It is a very big game.

"Swansea are a very good side. They do make chances and will always be a threat. Their league position is fair, they deserve to be there. We just need to nullify the threats they have got. They can open you up. Michu is a real clinical finisher. There is no fluke in the goals he's scored this season."

Goals, four in the past 10 matches, continue to be a concern for Norwich, especially as top striker Grant Holt has not started the previous two games. Hughton, however, shrugged off any concern over Holt's form.

He said: "He will continue to be a big player for us whether that is him starting or being in the squad or coming off the bench. He is part of a squad that really wants to do well.

"We are very conscious of the stats. We know we need to be creating and scoring more goals. That takes pressure off everybody.

"But I am confident of being in the Premier League next season, that is our goal. Going into this stage of the season you want a good spirit and we have certainly got that here. There is nothing wrong with the determination.

"If we were to win on Saturday it possibly puts a different perspective on everything. It gives everyone a lift. That's how close the margins are. It's so important that you keep things in perspective. We expect to lose games. What is important is that you look forward to the next one.

"I have seen no indication around the place or on the training pitch that heads are down."


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