No more Mr Nice Guy - Hughton

06 December 2013 01:32

Chris Hughton is prepared to turn nasty if it helps his struggling Norwich side to climb up the Premier League table.

The Norwich boss is renowned as one of football's nice guys but a crushing 5-1 defeat against Liverpool on Wednesday, in which Luis Suarez scored four goals, on the back of a 7-0 defeat against Manchester City last month, would try the patience of the most mild-mannered of bosses.

Hughton, however, takes his side to West Brom on Saturday insisting that he can ram home his message as loud and as bluntly as anyone else when required.

"It's an emotional game and there is no doubt that at moments when you need to be emotional and moments when you need to shout and criticise, then I am very happy and capable of doing that," said Hughton.

"It's a man's game and you have to be prepared for that. On occasions when you need a calm head then that's what you would prefer to be if it's needed.

"If there is something that I see that I don't like to see then 'Can I shout? Can I be aggressive?' Yes, of course, it's part and parcel of the game."

Hughton has no new injury worries following the Liverpool game but Norwich are still missing key personnel such as £8m Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who is running without pain again after an obdurate toe muscle injury and could return in time for the Swansea match next weekend.

Midfielders Anthony Pilkington, Robert Snodgrass and Alexander Tettey are also out injured.

It is the fact that Norwich possess the joint-worst defence in the Premier League, having conceded 28 goals along with bottom-placed Sunderland, which is Hughton's biggest concern, along with the fact that Norwich have lost 18 of their 26 Premier League away matches since Hughton took charge.

Hughton puts down their recent problems to goals conceded at set-pieces, especially corners.

"Up until a few games ago we had defended them well but a high percentage of goals in the game come from set-plays and when you concede it is usually about somebody getting across somebody with someone's individual responsibility not as good as it should be," he said.

"It is something which has hurt us in the last two away games and we have to make sure to tighten that up.

"We can keep trying. There is not one away game that we have gone into this season when we didn't think we could get something from the game. There is definitely no feeling of 'Let's limit the amount we are going to get beat here'. It's always going into a game with a game plan to get something from the game.

"We have to find the solution and we are working hard. We need to be more concentrated. In the last few games away from home, and it was certainly like that against Liverpool, every mistake they capitalised on. We're going through a period where every mistake we make is being pounced upon.

"The only way to bounce back is to continue to work hard and believe in what you do."

Source: PA