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4 January 2013

Norwich City boss looks ahead to FA Cup clash

CITY Manager Chris Hughton has said he intends to make the most of the competition in his squad when they travel to Peterborough United in the FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round on Saturday.

A hectic festive fixture schedule and several injuries mean the game at London Road presents an opportunity for a number of players to get game time in the clash against Darren Ferguson’s men.

Declan Rudd is set to start in goal for City, whilst Elliott Ward, Jacob Butterfield, and Simon Lappin are all in the squad after returning from loan spells with Nottingham Forest, Bolton, and Cardiff respectively.

However despite these changes Hughton insisted that the FA Cup is still very much a tournament the squad will be giving 100% to progress in.

He told “The FA Cup is a magnificent competition and we are away from home which makes it a difficult tie. 

“The positive is that although it’s away from home I suppose it’s a local-ish derby and great for our supporters. 

“I’m led to believe that we have 5,000 plus fans at the game, which will be great for us and will certainly give us a lift, and we’ve got to make sure we put in the type of performance that gives them a lift too.

“It goes without saying that it [The FA Cup] is not our biggest priority – that is making sure that we retain Barclays Premier League status. 

“But in some ways it is a release from that, and it’s always exciting going into a cup competition irrespective of whether you’re at home or away. 

“It also gives you an opportunity to use your squad, and that doesn’t take anything away from what will be a good footballing day.

“I will use the squad because I think we’ve got real competition at the moment and there are players that are perhaps unfortunate not to have played as many games as they would have liked, and it certainly wouldn’t have been anything to do with what they’ve given us in training and the efforts they’ve put in.

“It’s still very much a cup competition that we want to progress in.”

On Saturday’s opponents Hughton added: “At the moment they are a very good side and I know them quite well, having managed to see them on two or three occasions because it is fairly local to here. 

“They’re a side that do extremely well in regards to their budget, and they’ve not only had good form of late, but they’ve beaten some big teams too, so that makes it an even tougher task, but we’ll be going there to make progress to the next round.”

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