Friday 15 December 2017

Norwich boss Hughton upbeat over Hull win


Chris Hughton
Chris Hughton
Nikica Jelavic of Hull City and Sebastien Bassong of Norwich City battle for the ball
Liam Rosenior of Hull City and Robert Snodgrass of Norwich City

Mark Bryans

Chris Hughton felt his side deserved their victory over Hull in what he conceded was a big game for Norwich, but denied it had been a must-win fixture for his side.

Norwich had not won at home since November and, despite being the better side for much of the game, needed a late headed winner from Ryan Bennett to pick up their first victory in eight games and put breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone.

Hull, who could have gone ahead when debutant Nikica Jelavic hit a post inside two minutes, ended the game with 10 men, with Tom Huddlestone seeing red for a second yellow card late on, but could have no complaints that they left Carrow Road without a point.

Hughton's future has been under intense scrutiny all week following a 3-0 thrashing at Fulham in the FA Cup, with chief executive David McNally saying his job was safe as long as he kept Norwich out of the bottom three.

This win opened up a five-point gap to the relegation zone and Hughton was delighted with the response from his beleaguered players. "We knew this was a big game," he said.

"It is so tight down there it is very difficult to talk about must-win games. You have to not panic and be composed, things can change over one game or a two-game period."

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