18:00 20th April 2013
by Ben Mouncer
Manager delighted with 2-1 triumph
CHRIS Hughton was in no mood to play down the importance of Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Reading, highlighting the timing of the three points in relation to the Premier League survival battle.
The Canaries opened up a seven-point gap over the relegation places thanks to second-half goals from Ryan and Elliott Bennett at Carrow Road.
City’s manager says the result perhaps goes above and beyond even the memorable victories against Arsenal and Manchester United earlier in the campaign.
“There have been some big wins and performances from us, and we’ve beaten a couple of the really big clubs here and they were special nights,” said Hughton
“Maybe though, at this time of the season – and the fact that we’ve gone such a long period with just the one win – it is a very big one for sure.”
Hughton was pleased that the team managed to capitalise on a period of pressure straight after half-time with the two goals after allowing Reading back into the game in the first period.
“We started the game very well and had a good tempo to our game, but it’s difficult to sustain that over the 90 minutes,” he added.
“We perhaps had a little bit of a dip, midway through that first half, and we then started the second half with the tempo again.
“When you’re having good periods, you’re hoping you can score goals and fortunately for us, we got two fairly quickly.”
Despite the widening of the gap to the drop zone, he still believes that the Club need to pick up more points to guarantee a third year of top flight football though.
“I think we know we’re almost there because we’ve got 38 points, but I think it’s going to take more, I really do,” he said.
“All the teams around us are capable of winning games – we saw Stoke winning today for example. We’ll certainly need more points that what we’ve got now, and we’ve got four games to do it.”
On the absence of Steven Whittaker and Luciano Becchio from the squad, Hughton explained: “Whittaker should be fit for next week which is a plus. I couldn’t take the risk today.
“With Becchio, it was a tactical one. I just thought going with the two big players up front – Kei (Kamara) and Holty – I just needed a different type of option on the bench, and that came from Simeon (Jackson) and from Wes (Hoolahan).”