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Hughton focuses on bigger picture

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10 Mar 2013 14:17:17

Hughton focuses on bigger picture

Norwich manager Chris Hughton is not bothered how his team edge towards Barclays Premier League safety - so long as they do.

The Canaries played out a goalless draw with Southampton in atrocious conditions at Carrow Road on Saturday, where captain Grant Holt saw his controversial stoppage-time penalty saved by Artur Boruc. It was the third league stalemate in five outings for Hughton's men, who have rediscovered their resilience if not a magic touch in front of goal.

While there were plenty of groans of frustrations which greeted the final whistle, Hughton said: "Our responsibility to our supporters is to make sure we are in this division next season."

He added: "But we are what we are - we are a team who are striving to be the best we can, and if we were good at both ends then we would probably be six or seven places higher and pushing for Europe."

While Norwich have in part tightened up at the back - although they shipped four at Manchester United last weekend and conceded five at Liverpool a few weeks ago - goals remain hard to come by, with just seven in total since the turn of the year.

However, but for some fine last-ditch defending from Japan's Maya Yoshida, both Holt and Robert Snodgrass - who had rounded the goalkeeper - would have scored in the second half. Hughton feels he is doing all he can to deploy an attacking line-up, having started on Saturday with Kei Kamara, on loan from Kansas City, up front alongside Holt.

"Kei gave us something different, but when you are playing two up front you have got to make sure you are giving them good enough service in the areas which are going to hurt the opposition enough," the Norwich boss said.

"I felt with (Anthony) Pilkington and Snodgrass, we would be able to get into wide areas to put the crosses in, which is a very good avenue for us to score goals."

Norwich are now on 33 points, nine clear of Wigan, albeit having played a match more. Goalkeeper Mark Bunn reckons the squad should be confident of keeping themselves clear of trouble over the run-in.

"If we had have won, we would have gone into the top half so that just shows how tight it is in this league," the 28-year-old said. "If we win some of our home games, we will be all right."


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