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Hughton ready to turn nasty

Chris Hughton is prepared to turn nasty in an attempt to guide his struggling Norwich side up the Premier League table.

Last Updated: 06/12/13 at 16:00 Post Comment

Chris Hughton: One of football's nice guys

Chris Hughton: One of football's nice guys

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He appears a relatively calm and quiet manager, and is known as one of football's nice guys but crushing defeats by Liverpool on Wednesday and Manchester City, last month, have left him losing his cool.

Hughton takes his side to West Brom tomorrow and insisted he is not shy of ramming home his message as bluntly as anyone else.

"There is no doubt that at moments you need to be emotional and you need to shout and criticise, " he said. "I am very happy and capable of doing that.

"It's a man's game and you have to be prepared for that. On occasions when you need a calm head then that's what you would prefer to be.

"If there is something that I see that I don't like to see then 'Can I shout? Can I be aggressive?' Yes, of course, it's part and parcel of the game."

Hughton has no new injury worries following the Liverpool game but he is still missing key personnel such as £8million signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

The Dutch striker is running without pain again after an obdurate toe muscle injury and could return in time for the Swansea match next weekend.

Midfielders Anthony Pilkington, Robert Snodgrass and Alexander Tettey are also out injured.

Hughton is aware the statistics are beginning to stack up against Norwich, not least the fact that his team have lost 18 of their 26 Premier League away matches since he took charge.

However, their defensive form will be his primary concern now his struggling team have the joint-worst defence in the Premier League, with bottom-placed Sunderland, after conceding 28 goals this season.

Hughton blames that record on failures at set-pieces, especially corners.

"Up until a few games ago we had defended them well," he said.

"But a high percentage of goals in the game come from set-plays and when you concede it is usually someone's individual responsibility. It is something which has hurt us in the last two away games and we have to tighten that up.

"We have to find the solution and we are working hard. We need to be more concentrated. We're going through a period where every mistake we make is being pounced upon.

"The only way to bounce back is to continue to work hard and believe in what you do."

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S I've always envisioned him as a Pirlo or a Scholes, though he needs some of Andy Murray's conditioning and shiny, ankle supports to keep his own from buckling under the tackles that will (inevitably) come his way. He's got the physique and low centre of gravity to flourish, but needs to make himself more resilient.

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