City Manager reacts to Chelsea defeat

FOLLOWING Saturday’s 4-1 Barclays Premier League defeat away to European champions Chelsea, a disappointed Chris Hughton has backed his squad to bounce back after the international break.

Supported by 3,100 members of the Yellow Army at Stamford Bridge, City took a fantastic lead after just ten minutes when skipper Grant Holt fired home from Leon Barnett’s knock-down.

However the expensively-assembled Blues hit back with three goals of their own to go into half-time 3-1 up, before Branislav Ivanovic sealed the points with a fourth in the second half.

The Canaries face Arsenal at Carrow Road after the coming international break, and the City Manager is determined to make the most of that time following a recent tough run of games in the league.

“I know they are up for the battle,” Hughton told Canaries Player. “We’ll all pick ourselves up and we will be ready to go again. 

“It’s about showing enough quality as a team to score the goals that we need, and showing enough resilience as a team to stop the goals going in against us.

“We can certainly get some good work in over these next few weeks. We miss some players for international duty, but it’ll certainly give us a chance to work during the international break.

“It’s a disappointing one [the Chelsea defeat], because we had a very vocal crowd coming to watch us and they were really lifted by the early goal. 

“It would have been really pleasing to give them something to cheer about for longer than we did.”

A trip to Stamford Bridge to play Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea was always going to be a difficult challenge, but after going ahead, Hughton was left frustrated at the goals conceded in the first half, despite restricting the Blues in terms of chances.

He added: “We could have defended a lot tighter today. We look at the individual goals and we see where we could have done better. 

“With the quality they’ve got they are always going to get into areas and be able to cross balls and they’re always going to have the ball at the edge of the box – it’s just how you defend against it. 

“I thought the first goal and the third goal were poor goals to concede - certainly the third goal which came from our set play. 

“They’ve shown great quality, but we’ve got bodies back there, and they’re the sort of pivotal moments that hurt you. 

“Apart from Fernando Torres’ chance in the first half, I think the three goals were the three chances that they had. We kept them at bay other than that and that’s a disappointment for me.

“I was anticipating that type of afternoon in that they would have the bulk of the possession with the quality that they have got and cause us the problems that they did. 

“What I was hoping was going to happen was that after getting a lead so early in the game, that we kept hold of it for a longer period. 

“What we were able to do was cause them some problems and get on the ball in some good areas so it’s not all negative, but again at the moment we’re conceding poor goals that are hurting us.

“For any team to concede nine goals in two games is a worry, and it’s something we need to do something about. It is down to a team effort and getting back to where we were in the four games before the Liverpool game. 

“It’s always a test of character because every game is a tough game. It’s probably a bigger test of character now because we haven’t got the points that we’ve needed to get. 

“Where we’re fortunate now is that there are a group of teams around us that have also found it difficult to get the points as well. 

“We need to make sure that we are able to go through a better spell and start picking up points. We need to do that sooner rather than later.”

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