Hughton relief at Canaries rise
Published 12/11/2013 | 11:56
Norwich manager Chris Hughton admits he will sleep easier this week with his side out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three.
The Canaries came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at Carrow Road on Saturday, a victory which saw them climb to 15th place and ease the pressure on Hughton, whose position had come in for scrutiny following defeats by Chelsea and Arsenal before a 7-0 humiliation at Manchester City.
Hughton now has some welcome respite during the international break before the squad reassemble at Colney ahead of the trip to Newcastle, his former club, on November 23.
"You can't expect an easy ride when things are not going so well and it is tough to get away from it; people talk about it 24/7 and it is - you wake up thinking about things, you go to bed thinking about things, but I won't be alone in that in this profession," Hughton said.
"If you talk about the pressure I was under, then look around the league - if those top teams are not in or around the top four then they are under equal pressure, that is modern football.
"I have been around a long time, maybe not in this management game so long, but I am aware of things said and newspapers and radio and that comes with the territory.
"Whether having that experience really helps you deal with it better or not, I don't know.
"The defeats certainly do not get any easier, but this is a fantastic club to be at and I was so pleased for the fans and those upstairs (in the boardroom) to get a result."
Hughton continued: "We are doing the best jobs we can and we are working as hard as we can, but within that there will be good and bad times. You have to be able to cope with the down sides.
"What you look for is a togetherness from the players and I think we have had that, but I am aware of outside influences and you have to deal with that also."
Winger Robert Snodgrass converted a second-half free-kick to put Norwich 2-1 ahead after Gary Hooper had equalised from the spot.
The Scotland international is confident the Canaries can kick on from such a positive performance, as they did last season when beating Arsenal at Carrow Road which sparked 10 Premier League matches without defeat.
"It was this time last year, against Arsenal, that was a turning point in our season, so hopefully that can be the case this time too," Snodgrass said to BBC Radio Norfolk.
Snodgrass - who took a kick to the face against West Ham on his return from a lay-off after concussion - is one of several Norwich players away on international duty, with defenders Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker also in the Scotland squad to face the United States and Norway.
Midfielder Anthony Pilkington, though, is a doubt for the Republic of Ireland's friendly - the first under new management duo Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane - against Latvia on Friday night because of a dead leg.