Hughton feels a 'lucky' boss
Chris Hughton returns to the scene of his ruthless sacking on Sunday insisting that he is one of the Premier League's lucky managers.
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The Norwich manager takes his side to Tyneside where he will face Newcastle for the first time since he was dismissed as manager after stabilising the Geordies and guiding them out of the Championship and back into a mid-table position in the Premier League.
Hughton was replaced by Alan Pardew 21 months ago with Newcastle 11th in the Premier League. Since then Pardew has taken the club into Europe and strengthened Newcastle's squad with key signings such as striker Demba Ba.
Hughton is likely to receive the warmest of welcomes tomorrow from appreciative home supporters, many of whom believe he was given a raw deal at the club.
The 53-year-old former Tottenham player and assistant manager, however, insists there will be no emotion, just total focus on trying to get Norwich's first league win of the season.
Hughton said: "I only have one concern on Sunday, to try to win a football match.
"There are no thoughts of meeting anybody or what reaction I will get. It's nice to go back. I had a really good three years there which I enjoyed. You can't afford to have other things on your mind.
"From the time I left there, all I wanted to do was look forward. I consider myself lucky. I'm manager of a wonderful club in Norwich in the Premier League and we have the opportunity to go to some great stadia and mix it with the best teams and the best players. That is all about looking forward.
"It's not a nice thing to happen to anybody when you lose your job but unfortunately it's part and parcel of the game. If you dwell on things it doesn't give you the opportunities to look forward.
"For me it's always been onwards and upwards."
After a spell bringing stability to Birmingham, Hughton took over at Carrow Road in the summer, and while the season began poorly with a 5-0 hammering at Fulham, Norwich have not lost since.
Three draws, however, have brought just two goals and that is a concern going into a match against a Newcastle side with rich attacking talent.
Norwich striker Steve Morison, however, believes critics have been harsh on the Norwich forward line.
"I would have loved to have nicked a goal but it hasn't happened," said Morison.
"You hear people being negative and saying we haven't scored many goals, but we don't get many chances in a game. Maybe one.
"(Real Madrid's Cristiano)Ronaldo the other night had 10 shots on goal and scored one, it's amazing the criticism we get sometimes. People have got to realise who we are. We are not going to score three or four every game."
Hughton, who understandably has concentrated on shoring up the defence after the hammering at Fulham, believes the free-scoring style for which Norwich were renowned last season will return.
He said: "If you have a strong belief that you are going to continue to create chances it can turn on a lucky goal or a deflection.
"We're after that little bit of fortune, but mostly we are after quality, somebody pulling something out of the bag.
"You need a group of players who do not fear going anywhere and if that's the case you are always capable of getting a result."
Hughton is relentlessly upbeat but he is also realistic about Norwich's ambitions and the difficulties posed by a second season back in the top flight.
"After a difficult first game we are three games unbeaten in this division," said Hughton. "To go away to a very good Tottenham team and get a draw was a good result.
"We are conscious that this is our second season in the division and the quality we are up against but that is the challenge for us and we accept it.
"Ultimately at a club like ours it is all about staying in the division."