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HUGHTON ON CHELSEA TEST

5 October 2012

City Manager previews Saturday's game

AHEAD of Saturday’s clash with European champions Chelsea, City Manager Chris Hughton has focused on the positive aspects of the squad’s start to the season.

The Canaries were well beaten by Liverpool last time out, but despite still searching for the first win of the season, have impressed against Spurs, QPR, West Ham, and Newcastle so far in the Barclays Premier League.

Both Grant Holt and Steve Morison were on the score sheet on Saturday at Carrow Road – a welcome boost for Hughton ahead of one of the toughest trips of the season for any team.

He told Canaries Player: “What we’re always looking for is a reaction. After what happened on the opening day against Fulham we got a reaction and we were able to sustain it. But it’s part and parcel of the game – this is when you look for character in the team.

“We’ve done some good work this week, and we’ll look for a reaction. We need to remember that we’ve played six league games and in between two poor performances we’ve had four good performances. 

“What we have been guilty of is not getting the points were deserved from those four games. But there are enough positives to take from the season so far to make sure we don’t dwell on the negatives - they are very much in the past and we look forward to the next game.”

“I felt we made basic errors against Liverpool, and you can’t afford a team like that and a player like Luis Suarez those opportunities because there’s every chance you’ll get punished. 

“But that was then and we’ll learn. You have to bounce back, put it behind you, and you have to be able to look for some positives, and the positives were that we had two strikers that scored goals. We’ve had a good weeks’ training now to put that behind us.”

With a game against Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea City’s first chance to bounce back in Saturday’s 3pm kick-off, the Norwich Manager has called on his side to give their all in the face of the Blues’ expensively assembled stars.

He added: “Whether it’s this week, next week, or next month – we’ve got to play them. They’re playing well at the moment and have good options in the team. 

“I think they’re a little bit more adventurous than last season, but it would be a tough task whether we were in a good run or on the back of a defeat. It’s a tough place to go, you’ve just got to make sure you set up the team the way you need to and give a good account of yourselves.

“Certainly an inspiration for the team should be walking out at Stamford Bridge. It’s a wonderful stadium to go and apply your trade, and I’d be incredibly disappointed if there was one player in the squad who wasn’t looking forward to that challenge. 

“We’ve a job to do there, and we’ll go and do it the best way we can.”

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