Hughton wary of Swans backlash

  • Last Updated: December 13 2013, 15:27 GMT

Chris Hughton has warned his Norwich side to beware of a backlash from a travel-weary Swansea this weekend.

Gary Hooper: More than just a goalscorer
Gary Hooper: More than just a goalscorer

Swansea endured a nightmare trip to Switzerland in the Europa League when their flight was delayed for 12 hours because of fog and then a small earthquake woke up the players in the middle of the night before they lost 1-0 to St Gallen.

And while they progressed in the Europa League despite the defeat, Hughton expects them to have regrouped for the trip to Carrow Road on Sunday.

Hughton said: "It's been a tough week for them. but they have got through to the next phase of the Europa League so it has been a successful midweek for them.

"You can always turn those things around. It might be a situation that galvanises the players. They are going to need to dig deep at the weekeend.

"What we do know is that they have got very good footballers and a very good squad.

"The fact that they are in the Europa League shows how far they have come. We have to do our job properly. We would expect them to show quality.

"We have to make sure that we take advantage of the fact that we are playing at home and in good form and have a burning desire to get three points on Sunday.

"We are on the back of a good win away from home. We have to look at it as an opportunity to put back-to-back wins together."

Norwich's victory at West Brom last weekend saw them climb to 14th place in the Premier League and gave manager Hughton some breathing space.

It also saw striker Gary Hooper score for the fifth time this season and every time he has scored Norwich have won.

Hughton, however, sees the former Celtic star as much more than a goal scorer.

"We know his qualities and that if we are able to provide the opportunities for him he has every chance of scoring goals," said Hughton.

"He's working hard, his fitness levels are very good but we have to provide him with a service. He is one of those players who can create something in very tight areas.

"I don't want to see Gary just as a goal scorer but as a hard working member of the team. It says on his c.v. that he has always scored goals and so long as we provide him with a service you'd like that to continue."

Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel could return to the squad this weekend after a long lay-off with a toe muscle injury but Hughton will not rush him.

"He trained fully today and the injury is fine," said Hughton. "We still need to assess whether he has done enough to be included at the weekend."

Despite the 5-1 defeat by Liverpool and the 7-0 mauling by Manchester City, Norwich have won three of their last five matches and Hughton insists there is an air of confidence building.

"There's always a good feel when you are on the back of an away win," said Hughton.

"We looked for a reaction from the players and we got one. That showed character. We have got a lot of good individuals. It is about the harsh realities of having to dig deep and get results."

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