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Hughton On Palace Clash

29 November 2013

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton says his side need to take the game to Crystal Palace when they visit Carrow Road on Saturday. 

Despite finding themselves at the wrong end of the Barclays Premier League at the moment, the Canaries have a decent home record so far this season, with their only defeats in Norfolk coming against Aston Villa and Chelsea. 

Hughton is looking to build on the 3-1 win they picked up against West Ham in their last home fixture – and victory over the Eagles could rocket them up to 13th in a closely-bunched table.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Hughton said: “We know how tight it is, and it is a big game. A win on Saturday changes the league table.

“You certainly have to remember that we’re looking at a league table where there are of course teams below us and there are some teams above us – who have been spoken about very fondly – who are only a few points in front of us. 

“The fact that this match is against a team who are around us adds a little bit more to it and it’s of course at home so we have to be able to take the game to the opposition.” 

Norwich’s midfield options will be stretched on Saturday, having received a double injury blow during the week. Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington have been ruled out for four and six weeks respectively, with Alex Tettey already sidelined. 

Hughton however will not be using his depleted options as an excuse at the weekend.

The former Newcastle United boss added: “It’s part and parcel of the game and it gives somebody else an opportunity, so it’s one you have to work around. It tests the squad, but of course it’s a problem that all clubs have to deal with.

“The injuries to Pilkington and Snodgrass are the more frustrating ones because of course they’re two wide players and they both happened in the same week. 

“We know where we are with Elliott Bennett – that was very early in the season – and of course with Alex Tettey. You prepare yourself for those injuries and you shield against them, but having two players in the same position out is a frustrating thing.” 

Tony Pulis takes charge of Palace for the first time at Carrow Road on Saturday, with the Eagles going into the game off the back of a morale-boosting first away win of the season at Hull City – masterminded by caretaker boss Keith Millen. 

And Hughton admits he is not quite sure what to expect from a rejuvenated Palace side, come Saturday afternoon. 

“The simple answer to that is that we don’t know,” he said. “They’re on the back of a good win, but how much influence Tony had on that I don’t know because obviously he wasn’t taking the game. 

“How quickly will Tony change things? They’re answers that we’re not sure about but he’s taken over a team that’s on the back of an impressive away win.”

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