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HUGHTON - 'EVERY GAME IS TOUGH'

21 December 2012

Chris Hughton previews West Brom clash

CITY Manager Chris Hughton is hoping that his side’s unbeaten run can extend into a frantic festive fixture schedule as they take on West Bromwich Albion in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

With four games crammed in between Saturday and New Year’s Day, Hughton knows that his team will have their work cut out, especially against Steve Clarke’s high-flying Baggies at the Hawthorns, but hopes the confidence that his team are currently playing with can carry them through.

Clarke’s side sit two points and one position above City in the table after a fantastic start, but Norwich will be aiming for a repeat of last year’s league tie in which goals from Andrew Surman and Steve Morison secured a 2-1 win.

Hughton told Canaries Player: “We’re in confident mood at the moment, and there would be something wrong if we weren’t. 

“We’re on a very good run and I think it’s normal. We don’t like to make too much of it but it’s always a wonderful achievement to do that in this division. 

“For us every game is a tough game and to be on the run that we’re on is testament to the work that the players have put it. It’s about the next game though, and we’ve got four tough ones coming up.

“If you’re able to get results over this period then it’s not so difficult, but if you’re not picking up results and get a few injuries it can be hard. Most managers will say the same in that it has to be one game at a time. 

“It’s a difficult period for everybody, we’re all playing lots of games and facing the same difficulties.

“We’ve got a real competitive squad at the moment and we’re light on injuries which is a plus. This is a time when everybody wants to be involved, and we’ve tough games coming up, but games that everybody wants to play in.”

Unfortunately for City there is still a doubt over the fitness of skipper Grant Holt, who picked up an injury late on in the 2-1 win over Wigan last weekend.

Hughton added: “At the moment we certainly haven’t ruled out Grant completely. 

“The good news is that his hamstring injury is nowhere near as bad as it could have been or what we thought it would have been. He’s touch and go at the weekend, but we haven’t ruled him out.

“Harry Kane will be there or there abouts. The decision we have to make on Harry is that he’s been out for a long time, and he’s on the back of a period of training and an hour of playing time in a development game. 

“He’s done a fair bit of work, but the good news is that the injury is fine, and it’s good to have him back. It’ll be a decision I’ll make whether he’s involved or not.”

The Manager knows a trip to West Brom is no easy task, and was full of praise for the start Clarke has made to his managerial career with the Baggies, who despite a recent blip in results have won many plaudits for their style of play this campaign.

“Steve has had a fantastic start and I don’t think you could have asked any more than what he’s done so far,” said Hughton. 

“He’s had a wonderful grounding. I know him and I think in some ways he’s similar to myself – he was a coach for a number of years and would have gained great experience over that period of time. I’m quite sure he would have benefitted from it and it’s showing.

“West Brom are a very good team that have built steadily over the past few years with a very good start to the season. 

“It’s very difficult to sustain that momentum right through the season, and they’re the same as any team in that you have your highs and lows. 

“After a wonderful start they’ve dipped a little in their results but they have a lot of quality in that team and a lot of options.”

To watch the full interview with Chris Hughton on Canaries Player click here.

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