Norwich City 1 Fulham 2: Chris Hughton defends going for the win after plan backfired following Scott Parker winner
Hughton admits Parker's strike gave goalkeeper John Ruddy 'no chance' in a second half that he says could've gone either way
Friday 27 December 2013
Norwich manager Chris Hughton insisted his side tried to win the game rather than shut up shop as they let their lead slip and Fulham came back to win at Carrow Road.
The Cottagers are 18th in the Barclays Premier League and only in the bottom three on goal difference after Pajtim Kasami equalised Gary Hooper's deflected opener and Scott Parker hammered home the winner on 87 minutes as the visitors sealed a vital 2-1 victory.
Norwich were guilty of spurning a number of chances whilst in front and seemed at a loss later in the game on whether to push for the win or settle for a share of the spoils.
But Hughton felt the openness of the game proved his side wanted to win and that Fulham dealt better with the end-to-end second half.
"I don't think anybody can accuse us of not trying to win the game," he said.
"We couldn't find that right moment. The game became a little bit open and they capitalised on that. It was probably a game in that second half that could have gone either way.
"We've made some poor decisions, we perhaps haven't created enough clear cut chances but it's not a question of the players not giving enough."
Rene Meulensteen guided Fulham to a second win in their last 10 league games and the Dutchman believes the experience of his squad could make the difference between relegation and top-flight survival.
"The team has plenty of experience in the side," he said.
"Hopefully that will prove very valuable on the journey of staying in the Premier League this year. Scott is very important as a captain and he leads by example."
Parker's late strike looked like taking Fulham out of the bottom three until Crystal Palace grabbed a late winner at Aston Villa but Meulensteen still thinks it could prove to be a key moment in the season.
"It could be a very significant goal but we can only tell when weeks and weeks go by," he added.
"I've been delighted with Scott scoring the winner because his character and leadership on the pitch has typified the sort of performances we've had over the last couple of weeks.
"I was in an angle behind him and playing the ball with him. The first touch set him up and boom, he hit it straight on the trigger. It gave (John) Ruddy no chance."
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