Ex-Newcastle Utd boss up for Sunderland clash

Norwich City's Manager Chris Hughton
Norwich City's Manager Chris Hughton

NORWICH boss Chris Hughton has rubbished talk that the Canaries have to secure their Premier League future over the next four games.

Saturday’s clash with Sunderland is the first of four successive encounters for Norwich against their fellow strugglers, with relegation showdowns against Swansea, West Brom and Fulham on the horizon.

That run precedes a daunting end to the season for the Canaries, whose last four league fixtures are against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

But former Newcastle manager Hughton has attempted to ease the pressure on his side by insisting Norwich have the capabilities of picking up points during those final four encounters.

Hughton said: “I don’t think you can ever feel we cannot get points in those final four games.

“If they were at any other stage of the season we would not be going into them with a defeatist attitude and particularly at home we are capable of winning against what are regarded as the bigger clubs.

“We still have to look at it that we have eight games left and we have to get enough points across those eight games. I think my side is capable of that.

“We know it will be tough. Our form has been up and down, we have been inconsistent but we know we have enough capabilities to do that.”

Hughton’s position has been under scrutiny throughout the campaign and he came under fire from the away end in last weekend’s 4-2 defeat at Southampton.

But he has appealed for a united front against Sunderland, as the Black Cats look to drag Norwich back to the brink of the relegation zone.

“The players know, and I will tell them, if our level of performance does not improve we will make life very hard for ourselves,” added Hughton.

“But we will have a fabulous crowd behind us and generally at home we have been very good and that has to be the case against Sunderland.

“It is only ourselves who can get us out of this and we have to do that very quickly.

“You have to remain focused, retain that belief but there is no doubt we are in a difficult position.”