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HUGHTON ON ARSENAL TIE

18 October 2012

City Manager previews Saturday's Carrow Road clash

AHEAD of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League, City Manager Chris Hughton has called on his team to make the most of playing in front of a full house at Carrow Road.

The Canaries tackle the in-form Gunners after a two-week break for international football, and Hughton is satisfied that his squad are suitably refreshed enough to go in search of a result against Arsene Wenger’s team.

City are looking to bounce back from a tough two fixtures that ended with disappointing results against Liverpool and Chelsea, whilst Arsenal fans will hope their team can continue what has been an impressive start to the campaign.

Hughton told Canaries Player: “It’s a great opportunity for us. We’re playing at home in front of a packed crowd and in what will be a great atmosphere. 

“We need to make sure that we stay in the game and are also a threat. It’s a home game for us and these are the type of games you need to look forward to, and I know my players are.

“We have to get back to where we were two games ago performance-wise. 

“If we look at our season so far we’ve had seven games – three of those have been disappointing where we’ve conceded goals, but we’ve also had four very good performances. 

“What we haven’t done well enough is get the points we needed in the games we’ve played well in. 

“For those that have seen us play and for our supporters, they will be aware of our performances against Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers, and to a degree West Ham.

“They were all games where we could have got maximum points, but we didn’t and we need to get back to that level of performance and turn what were draws into wins.”

The Manager is confident that the squad are feeling the benefit from an extended spell of training sessions since the last match against Chelsea, and also revealed that defender Steven Whittaker is edging closer to a debut for City.

“We’ve managed to get some good work in even though we’ve had a good few players away on international duty – not as many as some clubs, but we have been able to work,” said Hughton.

“Our priorities, particularly after the last two results have been to use training days the best we can, and we’ve got in some good sessions. 

“You have to prepare them the best you can. We know that we’re up against a wonderful team in Arsenal that have started very well. They’ve added to an already very good squad that they’ve got this summer.

“Whittaker is back to fitness. He’s had two weeks of training, and he will be involved in the Under-21s development squad game against Reading on Monday night. 

“He’s a fit lad but in regards to availability he’s lacking match practice at the moment. 

“Robert Snodgrass came back from international duty and trained for the first time today and got through the session, so we’ll have to see how he is on Friday morning.”

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