Hughton tells Norwich to stand firm

  • Last Updated: September 28 2012, 18:49 BST

Chris Hughton has warned his Norwich side not to be fazed by the passing game of Liverpool as both clubs seek their first Premier League win of the season on Saturday.

Chris Hughton: Prepares for Liverpool clash

Liverpool currently reside in the relegation zone, having taken two points from their five games while Norwich are just one point better off, having scored only two goals so far, the least of any Premier League club.

Hughton, however, believes both clubs are in a false position, insisting that their performances have far exceeded their results.

"We have certainly played well enough in the last four games to have got more than we have got and they (Liverpool) would probably say the same," said Hughton.

"We have to be very respectful to Liverpool. In their last home game against Manchester United until the sending off (of Jonjo Shelvey) they were the better team. They looked a real threat going forward. Manager Brendan Rodgers has a philosophy which is very pleasing on the eye and they can score goals. We will have to play well."

That means preventing Liverpool from settling into the passing patterns which Rodgers had so much success with at Swansea.

Hughton said: "Brendan won't change the way he wants to play the game. In some ways it is in the old Liverpool traditions, pass and move, the rotation of positions. Brendan has done it very well at the clubs he has been at before.

"You have to accept they are going to have good periods of possession but you have to make sure that movement doesn't hurt you.

"We are at home and we need to sustain the quality and endeavours that we have shown in the last few games. If we are able to do that, we'll create chances and it's about converting those chances."

Scoring goals is Norwich's main problem. Last season's top goal scorer Grant Holt has yet to get off the mark but Hughton is unconcerned.

"He was our top goal scorer last season but he didn't score in the first six games," said Hughton.

"That's what strikers are used to. The best strikers around, the Rooneys, have been through long periods when they haven't scored goals. If your forward players are contributing towards a performance then that's first and foremost. If they continue to do that it is only a matter of time before they score goals."

It is a mantra taken up by Norwich midfielder Johnny Howson.

"You are always frustrated when you are not winning games," said Howson. "We are all competitive lads and we would be a lot more frustrated if we were not creating chances. We need to take the game to them."

Howson is looking forward to the midfield battle with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and insists such encounters were the reason he left Leeds last season for Carrow Road.

"I played against him (Gerrard) last season and in the cup for Leeds and he's been one of the best midfielders in the world for a long time," said Howson.

"You relish the chance to play against players like that. He will go down in history and when you look back on your career it is something you can be proud of. You've just got to try to stop these world class players playing."

Norwich will be without on-loan striker Harry Kane, who injured a foot in the Capital One Cup game against Doncaster and could be out for up to six weeks, while centre back Sebastien Bassong (hamstring) is also doubtful.

Hughton is confident his side are on the verge of their first win but also believes it is inevitable that Rodgers' work at Liverpool will soon pay off.

Hughton said: "It won't be long before they set in place everything they are trying to achieve there and start climbing the table.

"You wouldn't expect Liverpool with the quality they have got to be anywhere near the position they are in at the moment come the end of the season. They have got a lot of quality players."


Click here for a completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


(reopens) The Canaries later announced Kane was expected to be out for around two months after his injury was confirmed as a fractured fifth metatarsal.

A club statement read: "Norwich City can confirm the foot injury suffered by on-loan Spurs striker Harry Kane in Wednesday night's Capital One Cup clash with Doncaster Rovers was a fractured fifth metatarsal.

"Kane will undergo surgery on Tuesday and the England Under-21 international is expected to be sidelined for around eight weeks."