independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Hughton focused on survival

Chris Hughton's Norwich are just one point clear of the drop zone

Norwich manager Chris Hughton does not intend to let anything deflect his side's focus from getting the wins they need in the final 12 matches to stay in the Barclays Premier League.

Following a run of just one win in 11 league games, the Canaries have slipped down the table and are now just one point above 18th place.

With their relegation rivals having changed managers in an attempt to kickstart a survival charge - basement club Fulham last week dramatically axing Rene Meulensteen and replacing him with former Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath - Hughton is the bookmakers' favourite to be the next man relieved of his duties.

Chief executive David McNally maintains while Hughton - who oversaw a £20million summer spending spree to strengthen the squad - continues to have the support of the board for now, the situation remains constantly under review and indeed warned that the club were ready to move swiftly and had candidates in mind should they decide a change was necessary.

Despite all of the pressures, Hughton insists all he can do is focus on the job in hand, which continues against Tottenham on Sunday.

"We are going into the last 12 games of the season and it is a great challenge for us, as it is for another eight or nine teams around us, and we have got to make sure we really look forwards to that challenge," said Hughton, who was visiting the Railway Children charity near Kings Cross, with Norwich club sponsors Aviva set to donate £1 to the cause, which helps get homeless kids off the street, for every tweet received during Sunday's match at Carrow Road when the organisation's logo will be on the players' shirts.

"In a division which has seen a bottom 10 close to each other and where a three-point win can see you move up the division, as we have seen in recent weeks, you have to keep focused and ours will be on winning as many games as we can."

Hughton added: "It is a results business and there are going to be periods where results are going better at other times, that has been shown with clubs that are in the bottom three who at another stage are not.

"You have to look forwards to the next game and make sure that is the best opportunity to get points, so we will continue to do that and our best opportunity is a home game against Tottenham."

Norwich's main issues this season have been a lack of goals, with just 19 in the league - club-record £8million signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel failing to find the net since the opening day.

Hughton, though, is confident the results will follow if Norwich continue to produce consistent performances.

"If we are able to maintain the standard of our play over the last three games, then we will certainly give ourselves every chance," he said.

"The areas where we have found it difficult is getting those goals which we have needed.

"But I don't think anybody seeing us in the last three games would fault our endeavour in trying to get the wins."

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