City Manager reflects on 1-1 draw with Saints
NORWICH City Manager Chris Hughton was delighted to pick up yet another point away from home after a 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Southampton at St Mary’s on Wednesday night.
The result stretches City’s remarkable unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions – and just one short of the eight league games they went without defeat in the Premier League back in the 1993-94 season.
Rickie Lambert gave Saints a first half lead amid strong suspicions of handball, but City’s Robert Snodgrass fired in a free kick to level on the stroke of half time.
Hughton told Canaries Player: “I’m pleased with the point. The fact that we’re on the back of a second away game in a few days mean it’s tough, and Southampton are on a good run at the moment – the had a good win here on Sunday and have really good offensive ability.
“We started similarly to the Everton game, where maybe in that initial opening period Southampton were better, but we got better in the second half and that meant we were able to get into some good areas and create some good opportunities ourselves – we might have even won it.”
On Lambert’s opening goal, Hughton added: “It was certainly handball but it was difficult for the referee because they worked a very good block and the ball bounced in an area where there were a lot of bodies, but it was certainly handball.
“Then Snodgrass’ goal changed the half time team talk. I think you’ve got to applaud Robert because most were expecting that ball to go into the far post, although the goalkeeper could have done better with it, and it caught him by surprise.”
There was bad news on the injury front for City before the match, with the confirmation that goalkeeper John Ruddy will miss around three months with a thigh injury. However summer signing Mark Bunn stepped into the England goalkeeper’s shoes and performed well at St Mary’s, something that came as no surprise to Hughton.
He added: “John Ruddy will be a massive miss, and that’s not a detriment to Mark Bunn, who showed today, and will continue to show, the reason why we brought him in.
“With losing John, you’re taking out of the squad a big player, but it’s now an opportunity for Mark and we’ve got absolute confidence in him, he’s an experienced goalkeeper.
“I am a little frustrated that we haven’t won away yet, but when you finish games at Everton and Southampton, you know they’re good points, and even at Reading.
“You have to take the balance of the game into account, and when there is a game that you feel you absolutely deserved to win, it’ll be frustrating.
“They’re always going to be tough away from home, but what we have done is show real good character and quality, and the next stage for us in the run that we’re on is to get that win away from home.”