London: The Canaries manager is expecting Roberto Mancini to have his players fired up ahead of the game on Saturday, but was keen to point out that his own side have qualities to fear.
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton is wary of a strong reaction from Manchester City when the two sides meet on Saturday.
Adam Johnson’s second-half strike was enough for Sunderland to run out 1-0 victors over the Premier League champions on Boxing Day to mark City’s third defeat in their last five games in all competitions.
And while Hughton is expecting the Blues to be eager to return to winning ways as soon as possible, the Norwich boss highlighted his side’s valiant display against Chelsea as reasons for Roberto Mancini to be concerned.
“Man City will want a reaction and we want one here as well,” Hughton is quoted as saying by the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press. “The good thing about top players, we can speak about top players costing a lot of money, but they have great attitudes as well.
“I think most would have expected Man City to win that game. At the moment Sunderland are now picking up form and whether it was a deserved win or not the pendulum appears to have turned. Man City will want a reaction and so do we.
“We’re now two games without winning and we want to get back to getting some points again. I don’t think we have to improve an awful lot. In the first half [against Chelsea] we were a little loose on the ball and we have been quite tight during our recent run - which gave Chelsea the opportunity to counter. If I look at our games against the Champions League sides at Carrow Road, it was a very similar one.”
Norwich find themselves sitting in 11th place with 25 points at the season’s midway point, one place worse but three points better off than at the same stage last season.
The Canaries racked up 47 points last season but the club missed out on a top-half finish on goal difference, but Hughton is cautious not to set any aim to better such a tally for this term.
“There is no points target. It is about producing what we have done in the first part of the season,” he added. “We started slowly, but we got a bit of momentum from a good run. We know what we have to do. It is a tough ask because of the quality of this division and the players and teams you are up against.
“We have to replicate more of that in the second part of the season. We have to try and match what we have done and we have to work just as hard because a lot of teams will be pushing. We want to make life as comfortable as we can for ourselves.
“I think if you had offered that to me at the start of the season then, yes, I would have taken that. You only have to look at this Premier League week in, week out and that probably emphasises just what a good run it was that we went on.”