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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Feb 23, 2014

Hughton keen to build on Spurs victory

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has called on his side to start producing more performances in the ilk of the one shown during Sunday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham.

Robert Snodgrass curled home to make it 1-0 to Norwich against Spurs.
Robert Snodgrass celebrates his strike against Tottenham.

The Canaries were good value for their victory at Carrow Road, with Robert Snodgrass’ 47th-minute goal moving them up to 14th in the table -- four points clear of the relegation zone.

And while Hughton was delighted with the fighting spirit his team showed, he is desperate for them to start picking up similar results to ensure they retain their Premier League status this season.

“The goal was early, and the changes that Spurs can make, bringing on great quality, means you know you have to dig deep,” he told a news conference. "It's great to get back to scoring goals.

“We've got to be winning matches, rather than digging deep and just making sure we're not conceding goals. We all feel it at this football club, we don't want to be in the position we're in.

“We've played well for the last few weeks. Everybody at this football club is pushing in the right direction. We have 11 more games to get as many points as we can, if we show the character and quality that we did today we have a chance."

Hughton added: “This season, this would be our best performance I think.  We were very good at Stoke away, we were very good at Chelsea, and Man United for 45 minutes was arguably our best.

“We all accept we're getting into the part of the season when the pressure's on. We've certainly been very good for the last three games. That's a wonderful standard to see. We just need to alleviate a little bit of this pressure on ourselves, by perhaps getting the goals that can do that.

“What gives me confidence is we have a really good group of players who work hard, and the training ground is a good place to be. They feel it and they are as frustrated as anybody. It's a good place to be, certainly when you're getting good results.

“This performance underlines that they care, and they are desperate to make sure they are Premier League players next season. First and foremost they will work hard each day, that's their responsibility, they want to do well and they want to stay in the team. That has to be their drive.'' 

Hughton went on to insist that there is no strain in his relationship with chief executive David McNally.

McNally last week admitted Norwich would be “delinquent” not to be casting around for alternative managerial candidates, sparking rumours Neil Lennon has been lined up to replace Hughton should the Canaries continue to struggle.

But Hughton said: “I speak to the chief executive on a very regular basis, we speak about lots of things. One thing I can guarantee is that everyone is pulling in the right direction here.

“As manager of this football club you have to go with the ups and downs, the disappointments and the highs, and you have to get on with your job. You have to do what you have to, and that's get the best results you can.

“I think perhaps what I accepted was that it was a very long interview, and of course there were an awful lot of positives that were said in that interview that were ultimately not picked out.

“Part and parcel of the game is you have to get on with the job, and ultimately you'll always be judged on results, and that's very much what we're doing here.”

Tottenham created enough chances to find an equaliser during the Carrow Road clash but ultimately left it too late after a lacklustre start.

And Spurs boss Tim Sherwood believes his team were “not good enough,” as they only began to play after Norwich had broken the deadlock.

“We weren't brave enough on the football and didn't take enough risks," he said. “It was difficult but we had some clear-cut chances to score. If you don't take those you can't win football matches. It's bitterly disappointing for us that we're coming away with nothing and possibly never deserved it.''

Sherwood added: "It's a real blow to us but we've got to bounce back. We've got the second leg of the Europa League match and then we've got Cardiff at home. We need characters in the dressing room to be able to do that.

"We can't use Thursday's game at Dnipro [a 1-0 loss] as an excuse, especially as we were stronger in the second half. We created a few chances after going behind, but we just couldn't take them. It's the first major setback I've had as manager, and now the players must respond.''

Roberto Soldado missed two clear chances, and Sherwood said of the goal-shy striker: “He just needs one to go in. The chances are coming he just needs to take it and hopefully we can see the player that he is.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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