Desperate Canaries Need Repeat Result

Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton must have been relieved when the referee finally blew the whistle on a dire encounter with Stoke last Saturday evening.

The Canaries had just won their second game of the season and, albeit by the narrowest of 1-0 margins, Hughton took three points with him back to Norfolk.

Yet the result covers over some pretty large cracks in this Norwich outfit, which will become a favourite for relegation in the Betfair odds if Hughton cannot get them scoring. From six Premier League games, City have scored just four goals and they required a superb long-range effort from Jonny Howson to see off Stoke.

Norwich’s forward threat is meek to say the least. Since letting Grant Holt go they’ve lost all physical threat and Hughton put a lot of trust in Ricky van Wolfswinkel to fill the gap.

It is a gamble that hasn’t paid off as one-goal Wolfswinkel struggles to find his feet in England, while Johan Elmander hasn’t offered much help. Luciano Becchio, meanwhile, is already the forgotten man of this Canaries squad having looked immediately out of his depth after his high-profile move from Leeds last winter.

Although both Howson and Robert Snodgrass can deliver a perfect pass, Betfair’s football pundits know there’s no one on the end to convert. Hughton must be concerned his team don’t have enough firepower and would maybe secretly concede they were lucky to come up against an equally-poor Stoke outfit last weekend.

They must now prepare for the visit of under-fire Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea squad, who will see this fixture as a means of reversing their staggered start to the season, and without a goalscorer in sight it’s a damage limitations exercise for Hughton’s men.

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