Hughton keeps his focus

  • Last Updated: December 21 2012, 13:49 GMT

Manager Chris Hughton knows in-form Norwich are only as good as their next game.

Chris Hughton: Focus on West Brom clash
Chris Hughton: Focus on West Brom clash

The Canaries head to West Brom on the back of a superb 10-match unbeaten Barclays Premier League run which has seen them climb away from the wrong end of the table.

It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes, which has included home wins over Arsenal and Manchester United, and in stark contrast to before the October international break, when four defeats from seven games had seemingly left a long hard campaign ahead for the Norfolk club and their new manager.

However, despite all of the plaudits now heading Norwich's way, Hughton knows things can quickly turn again as he prepares his squad for a tough Christmas schedule which also includes home clashes with Chelsea and Manchester City before a trip to West Ham on New Year's Day.

"To be on the run we are is testament to the work the players have put in. However, you don't like to dwell on it too much, because it is all about the next game," Hughton said.

"We have four very tough games coming up in this [Christmas] period, but we are in confident mood, and there would be something wrong if we are not because we are in a very good run."

Team Versus Team
West Brom v Norwich
Norwich v Chelsea
Norwich v Man City
West Ham v Norwich
Norwich v Newcastle
Liverpool v Norwich

After a flying start to the campaign under new manager Steve Clarke, the Baggies have lost three from the previous four games and are without a goal in 270 minutes.

Hughton, though, knows full well there will be no easy ride tomorrow.

"West Brom are a very good squad and have built steadily over the past few seasons," the Norwich manager added.

"It has been a wonderful start for them, but it is very difficult to maintain that momentum throughout the season, so any team is going to have their highs and lows.

"They have dipped a bit in their results, but they still have a lot of quality in their team with plenty of options."

Mark Bunn is set to deputise again for injured England goalkeeper John Ruddy.

The 28-year-old former Blackburn stopper is hoping his extended run in the side can boost his hopes of representing the Republic of Ireland, with Sunderland number two Keiren Westwood and Millwall's David Forde other options for Giovanni Trapattoni.

"I have spoken to a couple of guys, so hopefully as long as I can carry on doing well, then I can be involved in their next match," said Bunn, whose father and grandparents are Irish.

"Now that Shay Given has retired, I think I have a good chance, so as long as I carry on doing well for Norwich, then I can play for Ireland, which would be a massive honour."

Ruddy - who was called up for England's Euro 2012 squad only to miss out on the tournament because of a broken finger - is not expected to be back in action until around March.

Bunn, signed from Blackburn ahead of the August transfer deadline, intends to make the most of an unexpected opportunity.

"John's injury was unfortunate, but for me that is fortunate because it has given me a chance in the team, and I want to take it," he said.

"Every game I want to perform to my best and show everyone what I can to do.

"It was hard for me last season, because I came into the team at Blackburn around Christmas and thought I did well, but then did not get to play.

"For me it is frustrating, but hopefully if I am doing well enough here, then I can stay in the team."


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