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Norwich V Arsenal at Carrow Road : Match Preview
Published : 20 Oct 2012 08:40:02
Norwich V Arsenal - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Hughton calm despite poor start
Manager Chris Hughton has called for a sense of perspective as his struggling Norwich side prepare to take on Arsenal at Carrow Road.
The Canaries have yet to record a Barclays Premier League win under their new boss, and are second bottom with a goal difference of minus 12. Hughton, though, feels those statistics do not tell the whole story. Norwich recovered from a 5-0 trashing at Fulham on the opening day to draw three in a row, including an impressive result at Tottenham, and played well at Newcastle before losing 1-0. However, successive heavy defeats by Liverpool at home and Chelsea away ahead of the international break undid most of that good work.
"I always tend to try to be as positive as I can. There are fine dividing lines, and from the three games we drew, if we had won just one of those, we would have that under our belt and then there is a different perspective," said Hughton.
"I am aware of the performance level we are able to achieve, but you need to get the points on the board.
"Where we have been fortunate is there are a group of teams around us who have not been able to get two or three wins to take them away from the pack. "The mood in the squad is good, certainly not of the team which is on the back of a couple of heavy defeats, which is encouraging.
"We knew that it was going to be a tough season, irrespective of how we started.
"We are only seven games in, and we feel there are a lot more positives to look forward to than negatives.
"We have to get back to where we were two games ago.
"It is about going on a run to give us a comfort zone."
While Hughton accepts it is going to be a tough ask to get a positive result against an Arsenal team looking to cement their status as genuine title challengers, he expects Norwich to step up their own performance.
He said: "These are the type of the games you should look forward to and I know I have a group of players who will feel like that.
"We have to make sure we stay in the game and we are also a threat apart from nullifying their threat.
"We certainly know the qualities they have, but we have to have our game plan on the day and make it as difficult as we can." Arsenal head to Norfolk looking to pick up from where they left off before the international break following a battling win at West Ham. The Gunners last lost at Carrow Road on Boxing Day 1984 and are unbeaten in 11 league games since. Although the Canaries may be struggling for a first league win under new boss Chris Hughton, Wenger warned against taking their challenge lightly.
"The team is hungry and knows that there is no room for complacency and no reason why we should be complacent," said Arsene Wenger, who will be without injured England duo Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott as well as France defender Laurent Koscielny. "It is an away game in the Premier League and everyone is in danger everywhere in the Premier League, so that should keep us on our toes."
Wenger continued: "Norwich gave us very hard games (last season) and we need to switch on again. "If we do well it will have a big impact on our position. We will then have played eight games, five away from home, so for us to get a good result is important."