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HUGHTON LOOKING FORWARD

27 December 2013

Manager insists squad is ready for United test

CHRIS Hughton says his players won’t have any difficult putting the Boxing Day defeat against Fulham behind them as they prepare to take on Premier League champions Manchester United.

The Canaries return to Carrow Road only 48 hours after their last home game, but boss Hughton insists the professionalism of the players means focus will have quickly switched to the visit of David Moyes’ side.

“It’s never difficult to pick players up. The reason why they do what they do is because they’re very good professionals. Any bad period, or any defeat, always hurts,” he said.

“We’re on the back of a disappointing result on Boxing Day. We certainly couldn’t fault the effort of the players, we just didn’t create enough clear-cut chances.

“We have to look forward, so it’s never difficult to pick players up, particularly when you have a game within a couple of days because there isn’t a choice.”

Jonny Howson’s fitness will continue to be assessed in the lead-up the game after he missed both the Sunderland and Fulham matches, but one certain absentee will be Michael Turner, who is suspended after picking up five yellow cards this season.

“I think Michael’s been on four bookings for a while, so we’ve managed to get a bit more out of him than we thought we might do,” added Hughton.

“When you’re playing in that position, and you’re the type of player that Michael is, then it’s something that you have to deal with. It means there’s an opportunity for somebody else.

“We’re ok injury-wise. We are where we are with Jonny - it’s one we’ll continue to assess. We’re not giving up any hope.”

On the visitors’ threat, Hughton added: “It’s of course a big task. Manchester United are Manchester United and they have quality all over.

“We are playing at home though. It is an opportunity for us to bounce back from Thursday, and it is certainly the type of game that lifts everybody – it’s one to look forward to.”


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