Boss hoping to advance to semi-finals
CITY Manager Chris Hughton is hoping his team’s confidence can carry them through to a Capital One Cup Semi-Final when they take on Aston Villa at Carrow Road in the last-eight on Tuesday night.
The Canaries are in sensational form having triumphed 4-3 away at Swansea City on Saturday to extend their unbeaten run to ten games but face a tricky challenge against former Norwich manager Paul Lambert’s Villa side.
It’s City’s first quarter-final in the competition since 1996, and a win would see them reach the last four for the sixth time, something that the current Manager is hungry to achieve.
He told Canaries Player: “It’s an important trophy for us and it also keeps the momentum going.
“When you’re on a run you don’t want the run to finish, and we’ve used this competition very well in the games that we’ve played, and we hope we can take that into tomorrow’s game.
“The thing that’s pleasing me most is that we’re getting points on the board. We’ve had good periods where we haven’t been able to do that.
“I think goals tend to come in cycles and it has certainly come with a confidence in the team. We had to make ourselves more difficult to beat, and we’ve gone some way towards that and with that comes confidence.
“It was wonderful for us to score four goals away from home, and in this division that’s a real feat.”
The match marks the first return of Lambert to Carrow Road since he left the Club in the summer for the west-midlands side, although he did face City in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park in November.
However Hughton is sure that the prospect of a semi-final berth is motivation enough for both sides to give it everything in order to secure a victory.
On Lambert he added: “I can only speak about the job that he did here and what I’ve inherited, and I have inherited a great group of lads that have integrated the new lads in in a very good way.
“You only have to look at his achievements in his three years here to see he’s been successful.
“It’s a competition that I’d like to make progress in and I’m quite sure that Paul would be exactly the same. Irrespective of what this fixture means tomorrow, one of these teams will get through to a semi-final and I would imagine he’s every bit as desperate as I am to get there.
“We’re at home, and Villa are also in good form. They’re a young, very energetic team, and we’ve seen the energy they put into games.
“We played well at their place and perhaps should have got a better result. They have good players and options, but we’re in good form at the moment, and if we can play with the confidence we have done in this run then we will give ourselves a good chance.
“The competition gets more important the closer you get to the final. What we have done is change the squad throughout the rounds, and it’s fared us well. Irrespective of any changes, as soon as the whistle goes there’s always a great desire to win and get through to the next stages.”
To watch the full interview with Chris Hughton on Canaries Player, click here.