Manager previews Sunday's big match
CITY Manager Chris Hughton feels that the current run of eight games without defeat is no more than his players deserve ahead of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland at Carrow Road.
The Canaries have been in fine form of late, securing back-to-back away draws with Everton and Southampton before heading into the Sunderland game with their sights firmly fixed on three points.
Martin O’Neill’s Black Cats will undoubtedly provide a tough test for City, but Hughton is confident that his side know what is required to continue their good run.
He told Canaries Player: “The players deserve everything that they have had from recent games.
“They wouldn't have been able to get these results without putting the work in.
“The last two games have been away from home and we’ve gone a goal behind and got ourselves back into the game, which means we’ve had the ability to finish strong in games, that's always pleasing.
“We know what we have to put in to get results in this division, and we’ve shown that in abundance.
“As long as you’re accumulating points, which we are, then we're doing well.”
Last time out summer signing Mark Bunn stepped in for John Ruddy, who has unfortunately been side-lined with a thigh injury, but the Manager was delighted with the display of Bunn in Ruddy’s absence.
He added: “This is the reason why we brought Mark Bunn in – he is a ‘keeper of experience and his involvement so far has been very good, and it’s a good opportunity for him.
“At this moment we’re still looking at approximately a three month period of absence for John Ruddy.
“It is a severe thigh strain, but we’re still assessing it and we’ll know after the weekend the course of action – it will need a small operation or just a period of rest and recuperation.
“It’s disappointing, but in Mark Bunn we’ve got somebody that has come in and done very well. Injuries are part and parcel of the game.”
Sunday’s match at Carrow Road will certainly provide a stern test for the Canaries, who beat Sunderland 2-1 in the corresponding fixture last seoasn, only to lose 3-0 at the Stadium of Light.
“I think Sunderland probably haven’t had the start that they would have liked,” said Hughton.
“They seem a very tight unit. They conceded at home to West Brom the game before last, but they’re not a side that looks like conceding a lot of goals.
“Perhaps similarly to ourselves in the early part of the season they’ve found it difficult to get the amount of goals that they’d want.
“It’s about trying to find the balances, but they’ve got a lot of good footballers, and certainly with Steven Fletcher up front they’ve got someone that’s very exciting and very clinical, and I have no doubt with Martin at the helm they will start picking up the points that they want.”
To watch the full interview on Canaries Player, click here.