A POSITIVE mentality will be important for Norwich City heading into the final six games of their Premier League campaign, according to manager Chris Hughton.
The Canaries sit four points clear of the relegation places and Hughton believes they can approach the season’s climax in only one way, starting this weekend with the trip to Arsenal.
“I think it’s a time to be positive and look forward to the challenge,” said City’s boss as he addressed the media at his pre-match press conference at Colney Training Centre.
“We have to look at the games we have left, and we have 18 points for fight for. The games will come around fairly quickly, and we’ll go into each one looking to at the opportunity to get maximum points.
“Any result you get at this stage of the season brings a feel-good factor, and there’s no doubt that if we go to the Emirates and get a result, then there would be a feel-good factor that comes from that.”
One of the year’s highlights for City came when they notched their first top flight win of the season at the eighth time of asking by beating Arsene Wenger’s side 1-0 at Carrow Road in October.
Hughton sees that result as a pivotal moment for his side but is honest about the difficulties they will face away to an in-form Gunners team on Saturday afternoon.
“Probably the turning point for us this season, after a very slow start, was the performance at home against Arsenal, which was a very, very good performance,” he added.
“This game will be a big challenge. Whether it’s at this stage of the season, or at any stage of the season, Norwich going to the Emirates will be going as underdogs.
“There won’t be one player in the squad who won’t want to be involved in the game. They’re in good form, but we’ve got to compete in every game we play in and give ourselves the best possible chance.
“That means going, wherever we play, with no fear and going there with an opportunity to get something from the game.”
City’s goalkeeper issues continued last weekend as Mark Bunn picked up an injury early in the 2-2 draw with Swansea City, but Hughton isn’t ruling out the possibility of the 28-year-old making a swift return this weekend.
He also confirmed Anthony Pilkington will be available after a month out with a hamstring injury.
“There is a possibility that he might train tomorrow, and then we’ll take it from there,” he explained.
“Certainly the news at this moment is better than what we thought – at the time we thought it was a groin strain which it’s proven not to be. That’s good news, but whether it will be sufficient enough for him to be involved, we’ll know tomorrow.
“The plan for John (Ruddy) is for him to be involved in another Development game on Monday, and then we’ll see how he is from there.
“Pilkington is of course back, he came back into full training last Monday.”