City Manager reacts to 0-0 draw with West Ham
NORWICH City Manager Chris Hughton was eager to take the positives after a 0-0 draw with West Ham United at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The Canaries impressed once again against the Hammers, creating plenty of chances, but neither side were able to break the deadlock as City took another valuable point from the game.
Hughton told Canaries Player: “I am frustrated and disappointed not to win, but what I’m very keen to do is not take away from the good aspects, which were numerous.
“We are creating chances, and the reason it’s a little bit frustrating is because we dealt with a big, powerful West Ham side that have a way of causing teams problems very well.
“Some teams won’t deal with it as well as we did today, and that, along with the clean sheet and not having lost in four games, they are the pluses.
“The areas we have to improve on are in the final third – we need to show more guile and quality in front of goal.”
Unbeaten since an opening weekend loss to Fulham, Hughton’s side peppered Jussi Jaaskelainen’s goal throughout the match, with Robert Snodgrass, Russ, Martin, Sebastien Bassong, Grant Holt, and Simeon Jackson all having great chances saved.
However the final and perhaps best chance to grab the three points fell to the feet of deadline day loan signing from Spurs, Harry Kane. The 19-year-old substitute picked up a Snodgrass pass, only to see his left footed effort saved by the in-form Jaaskelainen.
“It would have been some way to announce himself,” said Hughton. “He’s young, but he is a good finisher, and at that moment he was the person I would have liked that ball to fall to, because I know how he can finish.
“But it wasn’t to be. He’ll learn from that, and I think he would have enjoyed the experience of coming on.
“We need to make sure that we don’t forget about the positives. I thought we were a solid outfit and in the middle of the park we were strong again, and we need to make sure we get that win sooner rather than later.
“We keep mentioning these big games coming up, but we mustn’t go into those games with any fear. If we can show the type of commitment that we have shown in these game, then we have a chance of getting points anywhere.”
Despite the absence of Anthony Pilkington from the side, the City midfield put in another impressive display. However Hughton admitted that he was close to introducing Wes Hoolahan late in the second half.
He added: “I was tempted to bring on Wes. I know what he can do for us, I know he can produce that little bit of magic that you need, but there are two sides to it, and West Ham are so strong and direct, that I felt we needed as much height as possible.
“Pilkington unfortunately felt his groin on Friday, which was a bit of a blow for us, because we’ve had some lads away this week.
“Ideally I wouldn’t have liked to change the team, but one thing I will say is that Andrew Surman, who came in, did very well. Considering he hasn’t played in the last couple, he came in and did a good job.”
Before the match it was announced that 21-year-old central midfielder Korey Smith had joined League One side Yeovil Town in a 93-day emergency loan deal – an experience Hughton is hopeful will benefit the Academy product.
He said: “I hope Korey Smith can gain experience at Yeovil. He went on loan to Barnsley last season, and I think he enjoyed the experience there.
“We’ve been waiting for the opportunity to give him that chance again, and he’s going to a club that are fourth in League One, and he’ll get good experience there. We’ll monitor it and watch his games, and I’m confident he’ll progress there.”