City boss delighted with cup victory
Mark Bunn’s late penalty save from Clint Dempsey prevented the tie going to extra time after Alex Tettey’s deflected volley and Simeon Jackson’s poacher’s finish put City ahead with three minutes to go following Gareth Bale’s opener.
Hughton made ten changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at the weekend, and the Manager was delighted with the resilience and quality the team showed.
“It makes me proud to be in the quarter-finals,” Hughton told Canaries Player. “But I’m even prouder of this group of players.
“I did make a lot of changes, but I had no fear or questions that they’d put in a good display.
“They do lack the rhythm of regular football, so for some to get through the 90 minutes I’m really pleased for them, and the supporters too, everyone wants a good cup run.
“There was a lot of experience out there. It’s not young kids coming in, it’s the likes of David Fox, Steven Whittaker an Jacob Butterfield – they are experienced players.
“The substitutes [Alex Tettey, Grant Holt, and Simeon Jackson] did change the game, although we needed a little bit of help, and we got a little help with Alex Tettey’s goal that took a kind deflection.
“Simeon Jackson got his goal too, and he has Robert Snodgrass to thank for a fabulous delivery – I thought his deliveries were good all evening, and of course he can thank Grant Holt too for getting on the end of it.”
After going 2-1 up, Marc Tierney was adjudged to have brought down Kyle Walker inside the area – although City disputed he decision.
However with extra-time beckoning, Hughton was confident in his summer signing Bunn to pull off a save from American striker Dempsey.
He added: “It sounds strange but sometimes in a cup tie like this when you get a bit of fortune you start thinking maybe it’s going to be your evening.
“I was quite confident in him [Bunn], but you’re relying on him going the right way. It certainly made it a feisty last few minutes.
“But that’s cup ties for you. It’s how goals affect games. It quite suited us in the first half period, because we had a few players playing their first game for a while – Jacob Butterfield, Steven Whittaker, and David Fox, so it was a slow tempo which helped our players feel their way into the game.
“But of course goals change games, and when they got the goal we then had to push to get back into the game and you’re either fortunate enough or you’re not, and we were fortunate enough.”