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Hughton reluctant to change winning team

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton says the team’s excellent form has made it difficult for him to rotate the team.

The likes of David Fox and Andrew Surman, first-team regulars last season, have been left watching from the sidelines as Norwich enjoy a nine-match unbeaten streak.

Hughton believes the selection headache is a nice problem to have and said he would be more concerned if players were happy to sit on the bench every week.

I know we may look at some games and think we need to go a certain way or a certain player might fit the bill for a certain game but, generally, if things are going okay and you are picking up results then it’s easier to focus your mind on the team for the next game,” he said.

“Yes, it is hard to keep them happy but that’s how you want it. You don’t want players happy to not be playing. It is of course frustrating when you are not playing but, also, footballers see the game and know the game and the fact we haven’t made too many changes of late is a consequence of the form and the results.

“If players not in the team are seeing the club getting good results then they understand that but it doesn’t stop the frustration. You want players that want to be playing and you don’t want players that are making your life easy because they are out of the team.”

Hughton was noncommittal when asked about potential January recruits, trying to keep the focus on Norwich’s positive results than rather than transfer rumours.

“I have spoken to the board and they have been very good from the moment I walked through the door and what they are more concerned with – as we all are – is about what we are producing at this moment and making sure we are accumulating points,” he said.

“They will be pleased that we have managed to get ourselves on a good run but, of course, we are also conscious that January is not too far away and if we needed reminding then the dozens of phone calls you get each day from agents will soon remind us.

“As soon as the last window closes you are watching games, looking at players and ultimately it is about decisions on whether you want to strengthen your squad, whether that availability is there, whether you have any problems where you are in the league at that particular time.”

One player who will not be moving to Norfolk, however, is David Beckham, who recently left LA Galaxy in search of a new challenge.

“David is a fine footballer,” Hughton said.

“I know that he’s got a wonderful pedigree but I don’t see that being a possibility here – although I certainly see it being a possibility elsewhere.”

Thu 6 December, 2012
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