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6 December 2012

City boss looks ahead to Swansea clash

NORWICH City Manager Chris Hughton has praised the attitude of his players that has helped them to an unbeaten run of eight Barclays Premier League games ahead of Saturday’s trip to Swansea.

Since a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October, the Canaries have been in sizzling form, beating Arsenal, Spurs, and Manchester United at Carrow Road, but now face a tough challenge to extend that run when they come face-to-face with Michael Laudrup’s Swans.

Last time out City ran out 2-1 winners at home to Sunderland courtesy of goals from Sebastien Bassong and Anthony Pilkington, seeing the side rise to 12th position in the process.

On the unbeaten run, Hughton told Canaries Player: “Ultimately it was about a response from the players. 

“What we’ve had going for us all along is that our performances haven’t been so bad, going back to the early part of the season. 

“But on the back of two heavy defeats [against Liverpool and Chelsea], there was a conscious effort that we needed to be tighter as a unit and a conscious effort from the players to put some wrongs right.

“Sometimes that can be one game and one moment, and for us the big result was the home game against Arsenal that we won, and we’ve had a good run since then. 

“Of course in any good run the confidence is always high and you can take that into the next game.

“Ultimately it doesn’t really matter who scores the goals, it’s about the points and the wins you’re getting. 

“If we continue to spread the goals around then there’s a team feel to the goals we’re scoring and the victories we’re getting. You can use that to your own benefit.”

Last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium extended Swansea’s own unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions, and with summer signing Michu now on 11 goals since his move from Rayo Vallecano, City will certainly need to be firing on all cylinders.

Hughton added: “I’ve been very impressed with Swansea, not only because of the run they’re on, but also the style of football that they’re playing. 

“I thought they were very good last season, but they’ve added a bit and brought in players that have done very well in the team. 

“The manager has used his experience in the Spanish market, he knows the players very well, and they’ve all hit the ground running - in particular Michu, who is scoring goals at a very good rate. 

“Swansea are playing an exciting brand of football, and are probably playing as well as anybody in this division.

“With each game comes a team threat and an individual threat. We must make sure we’re as resilient as possible, but also that we have a threat ourselves. 

“It’s not about one player, it’s about the whole team, and we’ll certainly have to make sure that we’re on our game to get something from it."

To watch the full press conference with Chris Hughton on Canaries Player, click here.

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