City boss previews Goodison Park clash
NORWICH City Manager Chris Hughton has praised the efforts of his team to achieve a remarkable six-game unbeaten run ahead of Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Everton.
A 1-0 win over Manchester United last time out was the team’s third consecutive clean sheet, and saw them maintain the five-point gap from the bottom three.
Last season City played out two entertaining draws with David Moyes’ side, who have started the season well and have ambitions to finish inside the top four, and will need to again be at their best if they are to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.
Hughton told Canaries Player: “I think we’ve been more solid in front of goal as a team, and we mustn’t underestimate what the lads have had to put in to get these results.
“That’s the level that we have to work at to get those results and keep the good run going.
“It’s always pleasing for a goalkeeper and a back four [to get clean sheets], but you can’t do as well as we have done defensively of late without it being a real team effort.
“Certainly the back four will be grateful for the group of players in front of them that have given them the resistance and hard work that they need.
“It’s a real good team effort and it’s something that’s been really pleasing.”
Hughton also revealed that goalkeeper John Ruddy has recovered from a minor knee knock picked up against Manchester United, but there is still lingering concern over the fitness of defender Michael Turner.
Hughton revealed: “ At this moment Ruddy is fine. We’ll make a decision on him ahead of the weekend but we’re delighted with the progress that he’s made.
“Russ Martin trained on Thursday, and he’s pushing on. Turner took a knock in the game against Manchester United, so he’ll be touch and go but we’re hoping he’ll be okay.”
After the challenge of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, there is no let up for City against a tough Everton team, who earlier this year celebrated ten years under Moyes.
Hughton knows it will be a tough test however, adding: “It’s always very difficult at Goodison Park, because they’re a side that can generate a good feeling at home as it’s a wonderful stadium to play in, and if anything this season even more so.
“They’ve started really well and they’re playing a very good style of football, and they have some influential players around that. They’re a good all round team.
“We saw the Reading game and for a team away from home they had a lot of good forward options and opportunities.
“I know David Moyes well, and we all know that he hasn’t had the type of budget that the Manchester Uniteds have had, but to be consistently where they are in this Barclays Premier League and to be having such a good season speaks volumes of them as a club but also for David as a manager.”