Chris Hughton set to stick with winning Norwich team

 

Norwich boss Chris Hughton is in no hurry to change the winning formula he has developed at Carrow Road.

The Canaries are on a nine-match unbeaten run, winning five of those matches, and have not lost in the Barclays Premier League since they were thrashed 4-1 at Chelsea on October 6.

Hughton named the same 10 outfield players during a period where they played three games in eight days and he is likely to make minimal changes for the trip to Swansea this weekend.

"I know we may look at some games and think we need to go a certain way or a certain player might fit the bill for a certain game," he said. "But generally, if things are going okay and you are picking up results, it's easier to focus your mind on the team for the next game."

With a settled starting XI in place Hughton is also aware that those players who are not currently featuring on a regular basis may become a little disheartened.

"It is hard to keep them happy but that's how you want it," he said. "You don't want players happy to not be playing. It is of course frustrating when you are not playing but, also, footballers see the game and know the game and the fact we haven't made too many changes of late is a consequence of the form and the results."

A double from captain Grant Holt helped the Canaries to secure a 3-2 win at Swansea last season as Norwich picked up a league-double.

Holt handed in a transfer request at the end of the campaign but settled his differences with the board and penned a new deal.

The 31-year-old hit 17 goals last season and, although he has only managed three so far this campaign, Hughton has been delighted with his all-round contribution.

"I'm not concerned our goals have come from midfield and defence. Grant has been asked to play a different way and has worked very hard," he said.

"Grant is someone who is always looking to score of course but if he has to sacrifice that sometimes for the good of the team he will."

After holding on to Holt the Norwich board backed Hughton in the transfer market to bring in the likes of defenders Michael Turner and Sebastien Bassong.

Now the former Newcastle boss has admitted he already has an eye on the transfer market, which re-opens in January.

He said: "They (the board) will be pleased that we have managed to get ourselves on a good run but, of course, we are also conscious that January is not too far away and if we needed reminding then the dozens of phone calls you get each day from agents will soon remind us.

"As soon as the last window closes you are watching games, looking at players and ultimately it is about decisions on whether you want to strengthen your squad, whether that availability is there, whether you have any problems where you are in the league at that particular time."

PA

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