Hughton seeks FA Cup boost for Norwich

Norwich manager Chris Hughton wants to use the FA Cup to rejuvenate his side's form in the Barclays Premier League.

Anthony Pilkington, Norwich City

The Canaries take on npower Championship side Peterborough in the third round on Saturday and Hughton intends to ring the changes to freshen up his side.

While he insists he wants to progress in the FA Cup, however, his ambition is tempered by realism.

Hughton said: "It's a magnificent competition, but it is not our biggest priority. Our biggest priority is to retain Premier League status. It is a release from that and it is always exciting going into a cup competition.

"It also gives you an opportunity to use your squad and that is how most clubs look at it these days. But it doesn't take away from what is a very good footballing day.

"I will use the squad because we have got real good competition and there are players who have been unfortunate not to have played more games. It is still a competition we want to make progress in.

"Yes, it possibly has lost a little bit, but on the day every team will be as desperate to go through as before."

Norwich are reeling after four consecutive Premier League defeats, which included setbacks against West Brom, Chelsea and Manchester City as well as a 2-1 defeat to West Ham on New Year's Day, where a controversial early penalty awarded by referee Mark Clattenburg for shirt-pulling put them on the back foot.

Hughton, however, remains optimistic.

He said: "Nobody has given us a real beating. We need to get back to winning ways and it would be good to have a cup victory to take us into the Newcastle game.

"We are away so it is a difficult tie. It's a local-ish derby and great for our supporters. We'll have 5,000 supporters to give us a lift.

"Peterborough are a very good side. I have seem them on two or three occasions and they do extremely well in their division on their budget. They have had good form and beaten some big teams."

Peterborough have won three of their last four matches, a run which has taken them out of the bottom three in the Championship.

Hughton, who said he had not received any offers for any of his own players, refused to reveal whether Norwich had made any progress on possible signings in the transfer window, although the club have been linked with Swansea's Danny Graham as well as Celtic striker Gary Hooper and Israeli midfielder Beram Kayal.

Hughton said: "If it is right and appropriate for us to do some business then we will do so, but the correct way to do business is behind the scenes.

"I'm not sure what the best (transfer) system is, but this is what we've got and we have to work around it as best we can.

"It can unsettle players and the last few days are always a busy few days. We are doing as much work as we can."



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