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HUGHTON ON WEST BROM DEFEAT

23 December 2012

Frustration for City boss after loss

CITY Manager Chris Hughton was disappointed not to have taken a point from Saturday’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat to West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Robert Snodgrass gave the Canaries an early lead, before goals from Zoltan Gera and Romelu Lukaku snatched the three points for Steve Clarke’s Baggies.

Hughton told Canaries Player: “It wasn’t one of our better performances, but I thought we did enough on the day. 

“I thought we had control of the game in certain periods, and they played a system that allowed us to have possession. 

“Did we threaten in behind? Probably as much as they did, though they probably had better control of the ball in the final third. 

“Their chances were limited and so were ours, and the two centre forwards probably had the best chances of the game - Lukaku for them, and Steve Morison for us when he was put clean through in the second half.

“But I think the goal just before half time hurt us a little bit and gave them a lift, as their crowd were becoming a little bit uneasy, but I definitely feel we deserved to get something.”

The Baggies’ equaliser came in the 43rd minute after a corner was swung in towards a crowd of bodies, allowing Gera to prod the ball home after Mark Bunn had touched it onto the crossbar under pressure.

Hughton added: “It wasn’t a corner in the first place, and that was my feeling at the time. It was difficult for the referee because he had to make a quick decision on that one.”

Steve Morison started the game for City in attack with captain Grant Holt sitting out the match with a hamstring injury. Defender Steven Whittaker also exited the field with a knock late on.

“You’re always going to miss Grant because he’s a very big player for us, but I thought Steve Morison acquitted himself very well,” said Hughton. “He and Lukaku had the best chances of the game.

“We hope that Grant will be back with us for the Chelsea game, but we’ll see. He was touch and go for this one, but we need to make sure it’s right. 

“It’s not about one or two games it’s about a season, and us trying to finish as strong as possible. For that you want all your best players available.

“Steven Whittaker had a recurrence of an injury he had a while ago, but he was able to get through the last game without any problems, so we’ll have to assess that one, but it was certainly sore enough for him to come off. 

“That’s what the squad is about though and that’s why you have the competition that you have.”

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