Hughton stays rooted despite Norwich ambition

Norwich manager Chris Hughton insists no one must get ahead of themselves at Carrow Road despite the ambition displayed by the club.

Kei Kamara, Norwich

Hughton has landed 24-year-old Dutch international striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon for next year's campaign in a four-year £8.5million deal which has raised expectations among the Norwich faithful.

Hughton, however, brought his squad down to earth by focusing on Saturday's trip to relegation-threatened Wigan and insisting no one in the bottom half of the table was safe yet.

Norwich lie seven points and six places ahead of Wigan, who are third from bottom, but Hughton said: "As regards managing expectations, what makes it easier is that we have eight big games before we will see a sight of him (Van Wolfswinkel).

"It has shown the ambition of the board but we need to make sure that all our efforts and concentrations are for this period of time.

"Ricky is very enthusiastic and knew a lot about the club. He knew the history of the club and where they want to go.

"He has a wonderful goals record. We all know how difficult it is to bring in the right players and goals are so difficult to come by. He is a player who because of his age still has improvement in him.

"But we've got eight games to go and we have to make sure we get enough points to stay in the Premier League. This is where we want to be. You could look anywhere from Stoke downwards, the top 10 or 11 teams cannot guarantee safety."

Hughton believes his side need at least six more points and his squad is boosted this weekend by the return to contention of influential midfielder Alex Tettey following a knee injury.

Goalkeeper John Ruddy has also returned to training following surgery on a thigh problem although he will require several reserve games before being considered for first-team action.

Lee Camp will start in goal against FA Cup semi-finalists Wigan who Hughton is surprised find themselves in relegation trouble.

Hughton said: "The ironic thing is that they have probably played better this season than other seasons.

"But in the last two games we have seen an indication of what they can do. Everton (in the FA Cup) away was a good as you will see and they have got that character to get a last-minute winner against Newcastle.

"They have an excellent manager in Roberto Martinez, a very calm manager who is used to being in this position.

"You hope they don't have a good day. They are an excellent footballing team although they have obviously had difficulties this season, otherwise they wouldn't be in the position they are in.

"They have a lot of players playing well at the moment but they are used to going into this stage of the season and excelling."



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