City Manager looks ahead to Saturday's clash
CITY Manager Chris Hughton has warned that the Canaries face a tricky task on Saturday in the Barclays Premier League when they face Stoke City at Carrow Road.
The Potters visit comes after a much-changed City came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Spurs in the Capital One Cup, and book a quarter-final clash with Aston Villa.
With a win over Arsenal and a draw away to Villa prior to that, Hughton’s side go into the match in good form, but will have their work cut out against a notoriously difficult to beat Stoke side.
“We’ve a real tough game here on Saturday,” Hughton told Canaries Player.
“Wednesday night’s game does give me something to think about selection-wise ahead of Stoke, but that’s what I wanted.
“I was very keen to stress before the game that the changes that I made were not young aspiring players, they were experienced players that have played a lot of games at this level.
“We have very good competition at the moment and Russ Martin was the only one missing with a back injury on Wednesday.
“Russ is in with a chance of playing on Saturday, it depends how his back settles down – he’s made big improvements.
“Stoke are really tough opposition, and they are a club that has improved every year since being in the league.
“The quality of the players that they have brought in is good. They are a hard-working, well-disciplined team with good quality in their side.”
Only a stoppage time equaliser from Kenwyne Jones prevented City from taking all three points at home against Stoke last season, and so far this campaign another big striker, Peter Crouch, has been firing on all cylinders for the Potters.
Hughton added: “They are a big side, but what they also do is mix their play up. For all the passages of play that are direct, there will be some other types of play mixed in.
“They also have a striker in Crouch who can score different types of goals.”
On the prospect of a Capital One Cup clash with Villa at Carrow Road in December, Hughton commented: “It’s certainly a difficult home tie for us.
“But when your name comes out of the hat at home, that’s the most important thing. The fact we’re against a Barclays Premier League team will hopefully mean it’ll be a big crowd and a good occasion.
“At this moment we’re on the back of a very good win on Wednesday, but we’ve got an awful lot of football before the next round, and irrespective of the opposition I’m just pleased that we’re through and at home.”