18:30 14th September 2013
by Norwich City Football Club
Manager rues sloppiness in possession as Spurs win 2-0
CHRIS Hughton confessed his side needed to offer a bigger threat in the final third after losing 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
The Canaries only managed a single shot on target in the 90 minutes, and struggled to contain a fluent Spurs, who triumphed thanks to a goal in each half from Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Hughton says he’s addressed the team about the issues after the final whistle, but was also keen to emphasise how highly he rates the Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
“It’s something we’ve spoken about,” he said when speaking to Canaries Player after the game.
“Yes, we came up against a very strong Tottenham team today, but we needed to have better periods of possession ourselves.
“I think in what was a very tough first half for us, we gave the ball away too cheaply. We needed to have better options, and overall we found it tough going today.
“It’s about trying to get the right balance when you’re up against this type of quality. When you do have the ball, you need to work it up the pitch but I just thought we gave it away on too many occasions.
“We’ve played the same shape in other games and got results, but it’s about on the day and the team’s performance.”
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was booked for handball outside the area in the second half, and even though City stopper Mark Bunn saw red for a similar incident against Sunderland last season, Hughton admits it’s a difficult one for the referee to judge.
“He certainly knew what he was doing – he knew his momentum would take him outside the box so it was a deliberate handball,” he said.
“I think the referee has to determine the circumstances around that – we had a similar situation last season. It’s one I’ll have to look at again.”
City’s manager elected to leave Wes Hoolahan out of the matchday squad, and even though Gary Hooper made the bench after recovering from a shin injury, he didn’t get any minutes but both are fine and will be fit for selection against Aston Villa according to Hughton.
“If I look at where we are at the moment, I decided to put Gary Hooper on the bench and you try and determine before the game what sort of game it’s going to be, and if you are making changes, the type of changes that you will make.
“Wes is fine and still very much involved, and Gary’s done four days training this week so he’s still a little bit away, but he’ll be fine for training this week.”