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HUGHTON ON NEWCASTLE

21 September 2012

City Manager previews Sunday's big match

NORWICH City Manager Chris Hughton is hoping his side can turn good performances into wins when they travel to Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

The Canaries have impressed in recent weeks against West Ham, Spurs, and QPR, but are yet to register a victory ahead of the trip to the Sports Direct Arena.

Hughton leads City out against the club that he managed to the Championship title in 2009-10, and knows better than most how tough the game against Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United is going to be.

He told Canaries Player: “They are a team that will be pushing for Champions League places, so it’s quite a daunting place to go, but we’ve a team that will look forward to that experience. 

“It’s one that on a personal note I am looking forward to, but it’s about our performance. It’s a difficult place to get a result. 

“I was there at Newcastle for three years, and the supporters were always excellent towards me. 

“That was during a period of time that wasn’t always good. We were relegated, but did come back again, and the supporters were always brilliant to me. 

“There are still a lot of staff and players there from my time, and I shall look forward to going back, but more so if we are able to give a good account of ourselves.”

The Magpies have had a busy start to the season, having faced Everton and Maritimo in the time since City last played against West Ham on Sunday.

Star striker Demba Ba is the man currently in-form for the home side, having netted an impressive brace in the 2-2 draw against Everton, but Hughton is keen to focus on the positive aspects of his own side in the lead up to the match.

He added: “What we are missing is the wins. We’ve performed particularly well in each of the last three games and they were three games that could have seen us win. 

“We played well enough and created enough chances in each of them to have won, but we didn’t and that’s the quality of this league. 

“At this moment we probably need a flukey goal or a poor decision to go in our favour, but that’s how it is, you have to provide your own luck and quality. We hope the win is not too far away.

“We are conscious that we need to score goals to win games, and we’ve certainly been more solid since that first game. I can’t fault the endeavours of the players in the last three games, but it’s goals that win matches, and we need to start putting a few more in.

“All you can do is set your team up the way that you want to. Certainly there would be a bigger concern if we weren’t creating chances, but we are, and good chances. I think that sooner or later that will turn in our favour.”

Hughton has also been boosted by the return to training of a number of players, including Anthony Pilkington who missed last weekend’s draw with West Ham with a groin problem.

“We’re doing okay injury-wise at the moment,” said Hughton.  “Steven Whittaker is still out, and it’s one that will probably take its course. When he suffered the injury we thought it would take between eight and 12 weeks, and it will probably do that, although he’s doing some good running.

“Simon Lappin we’re hoping will train next week, but Elliott Bennett is back in training now which is encouraging, so we’re in good shape.”

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