Boss previews clash with Liverpool at Anfield
CITY Manager Chris Hughton welcomes back a fully fit Grant Holt to his squad as he searches for consistency ahead of a Barclays Premier League trip to Anfield on Saturday.
The Canaries face Liverpool after bouncing back from four straight defeats with an FA Cup win over Peterborough and a 0-0 Carrow Road draw with Newcastle, and Hughton wants more of the same against Brendan Rodgers’ side.
And the return of skipper Holt will give City an added boost as they look to pick up another good result at Anfield following last season’s thrilling 1-1 draw, in which the captain equalised Craig Bellamy’s opener with a sensational header.
Holt missed a number of games over the Christmas period with a hamstring injury, and after making a return from the bench against Newcastle last week, Hughton revealed the skipper is in the squad for Saturday.
He told Canaries Player: “Grant Holt is fit and available.
“Starting him on the bench last week was a decision we had to make, and it was the right decision.
“We worked closely with the excellent medical staff that we have here and it was the right choice. He has trained this week so will be fit and available for the game.
“When you look at the teams around us, and the team that are three to four points ahead of us, it’s then that you begin to appreciate the unbeaten run that we had.
“Even though we’ve gone through a poor period, we’ve been in every game, which is something that pleases us and means we’ve had an opportunity in every game.
“It does make you think back to what a good run it was, but it’s about bouncing back and getting a level of consistency. We want to get as many points as we can as quickly as we can.”
The last time the two sides met was at Carrow Road earlier this season, when the Reds ran out 5-2 winners, with 15-goal striker Luis Suarez netting a hat-trick.
But Hughton was keen to stress that it will not just be Suarez that City will need to keep tabs on Saturday, as Liverpool have a host of big money internationals to call upon.
He added: “We’re hoping that once we get there the weather is good enough for the game to be on and for us to put in a performance.
“I think the game here was a little bit of a turning point for Liverpool and for Luis Suarez.
“It’s only when you look back at the game you see the three goals that he scored were three excellent goals that could grace any game.
“We are of course aware of the quality he has and he has continued that form throughout the season by scoring goals. He’s only one of a very good side who are in a good rhythm at the moment.
“It’s not just about Luis Suarez – they’ve brought in another exciting young centre-forward [Daniel Sturridge] that might have something to say about that.
“All of that hasn’t changed our opinion of what a tough game it will be , and irrespective of what XI we play against, they will be a very good outfit, particularly at home.
“On their day they’ve been as good as anybody in the division and you’ve only got to go back to the game at Old Trafford last week to see that.
“They are a threat and I think they will continue to climb up the division as Brendan [Rodgers} implements the way he wants to play.
“We’ll need to play well and defend well, particularly in the periods that they have the ball and make the most of our opportunities.”
To watch the full interview with Chris Hughton on Canaries Player, click here.