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Five Aside

Hughton: AVB must get time

Chris Hughton has urged Tottenham's disgruntled fans to give new boss Andre Villas-Boas a fair crack of the whip before they turn on his new-look side.

The jeers rang around White Hart Lane as Hughton's Norwich team claimed a deserved point in a 1-1 draw against a rapidly reassembled Spurs team on Saturday, with the club's long standing former player and coach calling for calm as a storm begins to develop.

"This is certainly not the moment to start questioning what the new manager is doing," insists Hughton, who spent more than two decades as a player and coach at Tottenham. "The club have decided to change direction with a new manager and that man has to be given time by the supporters to put his ideas into place.

"Having been at this club for so many years, I fully appreciate the level of expectations and they are very high. That is only right as Tottenham are a massive club and their supporter base confirms as much, but I look at the players in the squad and see a lot of quality.

"What my team did well at White Hart Lane was stifle an excellent Spurs side. We didn't allow them to do what they do best, so I'd argue my team deserve some credit for the fact that they may not have been at their best."

Hughton said he has learned a lot about the Norwich players in the opening three games of the season, as he is willing to take his share of the blame for the opening day 5-0 drubbing at Fulham.

"I take the responsibility for what happened at Craven Cottage because I picked the team for that game and the result speaks for itself," Hughton added. "We have changed several members of the team since that setback and I believe we are getting a better balance now."

Norwich fans encouraged with the positive start made by their new manager may be a little disconcerted by reports suggesting Giovanni Trapattoni's future as Ireland boss is increasingly uncertain ahead of the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign next weekend, with Hughton a strong favourite to succeed the veteran Italian if he was to leave his post.


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