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20 July 2012

City Manager Chris Hughton talks to ahead of Saturday's game

CHRIS Hughton's reign as Norwich City Manager gets into full swing on Saturday, July 21 with a friendly against German side Hertha Berlin is Gleisdorf, Austria.

The squad have spent the week being put through their paces during a gruelling pre-season training camp in the Austrian countryside, and will round it off with their first 90 minutes under the new Manager.

It will be the first chance Hughton has had to see his players in a match environment, and the team will no doubt be eager to impress before City head up to Glasgow to face Celtic on Tuesday.

The game will kick-off at 5pm UK time, and we will be bringing you live updates on our @NorwichCityFC twitter page, as well as a match report, highlights and all the post-match reaction exclusively on

Hughton told Canaries Player: "At this particular moment we don't know what side Hertha Berlin will put out or how many changes they will make, but they are a good side.

"They are vastly experienced and have great quality.

"For us it's about getting through the game, and making sure that if we can travel back from the game injury free, then it will be the end of what has been a very good week.

"You don't like losing any games, but that's not the reason that we're playing. The reasons are to get the fitness that you need to set yourself up for the beginning of what will be a very tough season.

"It gives you a chance to put some of your ideas into the players, and the shape that you want to play tactically. But it certainly doesn't do you any harm if you're winning games"

The City boss gave no clues as to how his team might line up on Saturday, but admitted he will be trying out a few different ideas at this early point in pre-season.

He added: "We certainly won't be any different to anybody else in that you want to play a formation that is going to give you a foundation to win games.

"So whatever that is, and whether we rotate to play different shapes is irrespective at this stage.

"When you get towards the end of pre-season, then you will formulate more in your mind the shape that you want and the team that you want.

"But at the moment it's about getting through the games injury free and making sure that we attain a good fitness level."

After flying back from Austria on Saturday night, the Canaries will travel to Glasgow to play Celtic on Tuesday, July 24 - the start of a run of pre-season games that Hughton thinks will stand his team in good stead for the season.

He said: "The pre-season, which was arranged before I got here, is a good one, with some good games.

"I'm pleased after a week in Austria and a game in Scotland on Tuesday that we are on home soil for the remainder of the games.

"We have some very good fixtures in that period of time, and it will give us an opportunity to look at the team.

Hughton also had a word of thanks for the Yellow Army, thousands of whom have already bought tickets to support the side throughout their pre-season schedule, and a few are even making the long trip to Austria for the game on Saturday.

"It is great commitment," said Hughton. "They are certainly coming into some nice weather, so that will be nice for them.

"We're always appreciative of anybody that's willing to come and spend their hard earned money to watch the team play."

Hertha Berlin factfile:

-Formed in 1892

-Play at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin (Capacity: 77,166), the venue for the 1936 Summer Olympics

-Twitter - @HerthaBSC

-German champions in 1930 and 1931

-Founding members of the Bundesliga in 1963, but were relegated to the second tier last season after losing a play-off tournament to Fortuna Dusselforf

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