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HUGHTON REACTS TO MAN CITY LOSS

29 December 2012

Boss disappointed with start

NORWICH City Manager Chris Hughton was pleased with the way his side responded to going behind on Saturday despite falling to a 4-3 defeat to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City.

An Edin Dzeko brace put Norwich 2-0 down after just five minutes, but they bounced back with goals from Anthony Pilkington and a Russ Martin double.

However it wasn’t to be in the end as the visitors, who had midfielder Samir Nasri sent off shortly before the break, held on for a 4-3 victory at Carrow Road.

Hughton told Canaries Player: “They started better than us and when you’re 2-0 down at home against the league champions, it gives you an awful lot to do.

“I know we’ve got character in the squad though and at 2-1, if we’d have kept it at that score line for a longer period of time, the game would have become more open, they would have defended a bit deeper, and possibly we could have got back into the game. 

“You’ve got to give them credit too, Manchester City. It’s only when you see them at close quarters that you realise what ability they have in the team. 

“They have such offensive options, and when you look at the goals they scored, they were clinical, quality finishes.”

After an incredible run of ten games without defeat, the Canaries have lost three on the bounce to West Brom, Chelsea, and Manchester City, but all have been close games and have seen some impressive performances.

Hughton added: “What we have to look at is who those three opponents were. 

“I think it shows how good the run was when we were on it. We had a tough game at West Brom, and then Chelsea and Man City. 

“In all three we’ve lost by one goal, which shows we were in those games. What we need to do is turn those close games in our favour.

“Against Man City, to go 2-0 down so early, it’s not like us with the way we’ve been playing and defending, and you give yourself a mountain to climb then. 

“The problem is against a team like this if you open up a little bit then they can pick you off, and that’s exactly what they did on the third and fourth goal.

“I thought we showed great resilience and endeavour to get back into the game, and at 4-3 anything could happen.”

Steve Morison was replaced by Harry Kane with a knock during the match, and captain Grant Holt missed the match with injury.

Hughton revealed: “The games are coming thick and fast and rest and recovery is almost as important as the training they’ve been doing for the lads that are playing. 

“Morison we will assess after the game, he just felt his thigh slightly. Holt will be touch and go for West Ham though, and we’ll have to assess him over the next couple of games. 

“Steve Morison did well, and we’d like Grant Holt back too, but if not it’s a chance for somebody else.”

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

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