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22 July 2012

Chris Hughton reflects on 3-2 defeat to German side

NORWICH City Manager Chris Hughton was pleased that his side came through their first pre-season game against Hertha Berlin in Austria injury-free.

The Canaries were edged out 3-2 in an entertaining match with James Vaughan scoring twice for City, but more importantly for Hughton 22 players got 45 minutes under their belts ahead of Tuesday's trip to play Celtic.

A week long training camp in Austria had been the backdrop for the players' preparations, before a game against the German side in the town of Gleisdorf.

Hughton told Canaries Player: "It was very good run out. They [Hertha Berlin] are two weeks ahead of us as they start their season two weeks earlier, so it was a good test, and we were able to make 11 changes at half time.

"What we wanted to get from it was a little bit of rhythm, and we'll be able determine how hard they [the players] have run and have much of a physical test it has been once we get the data back.

"We have come through with no injuries and it has been a good week for us. We need to go into the Celtic game now in the same vein, and looking to improve on the fitness level.

"It's always disappointing to lose a game, but you'd rather lose them at this stage of the pre-season than later on."

Opposition striker Elias Kachunga netted a hat-trick to win it for Hertha, with two of those goals coming in the space of one first half minute.

A sharp-looking Vaughan gave City an added edge in the second half, but his two goals weren't enough as Kachunga completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot.

Hughton added: "I think the advantage we had in the second half was that we brought another XI on that were a bit fresher and had watched the first half.

"They were brighter than us in the first half. They had three efforts at goal and scored twice in that first half period, and that's the difference in sharpness at this stage. We had opportunities and got back into the game, but probably overall it was a fair result.

"It was a good challenge and a good test for us, but it's about coming out of it unscathed, as we have done injury-wise, and we look forward to the game against Celtic on Tuesday."

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