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Sep 29, 2013

Hughton happy to relieve the pressure

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton admitted after the deserved 1-0 victory at Stoke City that he had been feeling the heat that came with being near the foot of the Premier League table.

Chris Hughton's Norwich claimed a deserved win at Stoke.
Chris Hughton's Norwich claimed a deserved win at Stoke.

The club's slow start to the season, coupled with their big summer spending, had led to some questions being asked of the manager -- not least by himself.

Life at Carrow Road will be much happier this week, though, after Jonny Howson's 25-yard winner soon after the half-hour.

"Pressure comes with the territory," Hughton said. "Nobody puts us managers under more pressure than we do because we take every defeat heavily.

"You have to be calm through any period of pressure, or supposed pressure. Before this game, we were sitting fourth from bottom and that's pressure in itself. At Tottenham, we were very poor, and Hull away was a game where we should have done better.

"Every away win in the Premier League is a big one and I don't think you'll find anyone who doesn't think we deserved to win this game."

Norwich edge above Stoke in the table on goals scored after their first away league win of 2013-14, although they also hit back at Watford in midweek to progress in the Capital One Cup.

Hughton was somewhat surprised to hear that his midfielder Leroy Fer had admitted to holding Kenwyne Jones in a second-half tussle that had Stoke appealing for a penalty.

"He's an honest lad then, isn't he?" the manager smiled. "I thought their lad made a meal of it to be honest. If we have got away with it, I think all Norwich fans will agree that we were due a break.

"Leroy came a bit late in the summer because he was involved with the Dutch Under-21s, then he was suspended. It has been a time of catch up for him but he's feeling more at home with each game and each training session.

"It can take time for new players to adjust, especially if they come from abroad. With Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, you certainly can't fault him on the other side of the game -- he's working hard but needs help from his team-mates and we hope to give him a good enough supply."

Norwich's plan had been to play at a high Stoke-like tempo to deny their opponents the chance to build momentum -- a tactic that worked well with Ryan Bennett also hitting the bar from a Robert Snodgrass corner.

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