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HUGHTON ON WIGAN DEFEAT

31 March 2013

Manager hoping to increase goal-scoring threat

CHRIS HUGHTON admits Norwich City need to work on being more ‘clinical’ in the final third of the pitch after slipping to a 1-0 defeat against Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon.

The Canaries drew their fifth blank in seven matches and were punished when Arouna Kone struck nine minutes from time to settle what had been an even encounter.

Boss Hughton says that, although he was largely happy with his team’s display, especially in the first-half, they must find a way of troubling the opposition’s goal if they are to pick up the required points to secure a third consecutive year of Premier League football.

“It’s about clinical moments, and they had the one in the game that got them the goal,” he explained when speaking to Canaries Player after the match.

“I thought we were good in that first-half period – we broke well, and probably away from home, that’s as much as we’ve got into the final third.

“It’s two things when you’re away from home though – if it’s a close game you’ve got to make sure you keep that clean sheet, or you’ve got to have that little bit of quality that gets you that goal.

“We didn’t have that today - it’s something that we were guilty of and something we’ll have to look at but it was a never a game that I felt we were going to lose.”

On the barren goal-scoring run, he added: “Statistics don’t lie but our general play has been good enough, as anybody that was here today will have seen.

“To win games, though, you’ve got to score goals and we’re finding that a little more difficult at the moment.”

The team will now focus their attentions immediately on the final seven games of the Premier League season, with four of those coming at Carrow Road against Swansea City next weekend, Reading, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.

Hughton says a club of Norwich City’s stature should always focus on picking up the majority of points on home turf, and that they’ll try and take what positives they can from the Wigan loss into the final stage of the campaign.

“We’ve got seven games left, and four of them are at home,” he said.

“For clubs like ourselves, it’s always going to be about your home form. We need to make sure that we pull all the good things out of that game today and take advantage of the fact that we’re at Carrow Road.

“The only way our situation can change is by getting the points that we need and the wins that we need. That starts with the next game against Swansea.

“You have to be confident that you’ve got enough in the squad to get the points that are needed. Absolutely we have, but we have to show it. Today’s a disappointing day, but we need to turn it into a good day next week.”


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