Competition for places pleases HughtonCANARIES’ boss Chris Hughton looks ahead to the return of Barclays Premier League action this weekend with Southampton the visitors to Carrow Road on Saturday (3pm).
After suffering a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Hull City last weekend, the Canaries returned to action with a resounding 6-3 Capital One Cup success over Bury in midweek – a result which will hopefully aid preparation for the Saints encounter.
“We hope it will have a good effect,” said Hughton. “We were very disappointed last weekend in the manner we lost the game – we felt very hard done by with the penalty decision itself, but you have to bounce back from that and we put out a strong side midweek. I think that was a consequence of last weekend and also respect to the opposition and the competition.
“But you look at some of the ties and they were tight affairs and some went to extra time. So firstly we were delighted to put on a good performance against a very good Bury team who were able to raise their performance. But to score six goals was very pleasing for us – in the manner we went about it, that three of the new players scored – we hope it has a good effect.”
He added: “The reason you try and improve the squad is so you have competition for places. We have a couple of injuries but apart from that we are ok. So there is good competition, it makes my job harder, which is what I want. If your job is becoming harder to pick a team then it must mean that there are enough players pushing for a starting position.”
Ahead of Saturday’s game Hughton confirmed that defender Ryan Bennett would be assessed for the weekend having picked up a knock against the Shakers.
“He’ll be touch and go but he’s a tough lad, he ended up having a couple of stitches but it’s nothing more than that and it’s not something that will keep him out for any while.
“The only two at the moment are Elliott Bennett (knee ligaments) and Gary Hooper who will start running tomorrow – and in his case the international break probably comes at a good time for him. The fact that there are no league fixtures that weekend means it certainly gives him a good whole week and a bit training and hopefully he’ll be available for the Tottenham game.”