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Premier League Preview: Swansea City v Norwich City

Boss Chris Hughton is ready to harness the return of the feelgood factor to Norwich City when his side face Swansea City on Saturday.

After a first win in four matches against Sunderland last weekend, things are looking up at Carrow Road.

An opener from Robert Snodgrass and a spectacular 30-yard volley from Alex Tettey secured a fairly straightforward 2-0 victory against Gus Poyet’s strugglers, lifting Norwich to 14th in the table and above Saturday’s hosts.

That result has also eased the pressure on Hughton, who was rounded on by supporters during the 4-2 defeat at Southampton earlier this month.

He knows, though, that there is no room for complacency as the relegation battle heats up, and has called on his players to kick-start a long unbeaten run to guarantee their survival.

“There’s always a little bit of a better feel the week after a good result, but we need to make sure we take that feel into the next game and every game we play,” he told Norwich City TV .

“You look for every psychological boost that you can. The biggest one for us, of course, is that we’re on the back of a good win and performance on Saturday, but we have fared well against Swansea in the last couple of years and hopefully we can use that.”

Hughton’s men have won on their last two visits to the Liberty Stadium, and a third in a row would move them ever closer to ensuring their Premier League status for next year – with seven points now separating them from the drop zone.

Garry Monk’s men were also sliding dangerously towards the bottom three before Tuesday’s trip to Arsenal, but a creditable 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium has given them renewed hope.

Wilfried Bony got the visitors off to a good start with his 11th-minute goal, before strikes from Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud within a minute of each other gave Arsenal the lead.

However, Mathieu Flamini inadvertently directed the ball past his own goalkeeper in the closing stages to ensure it ended level.

The draw saw Swansea move five points clear of the bottom three, but they are still without a win in any of their last six league games, although left-back Neil Taylor is predicting that the battle for survival will go down to the wire.

He said: “It (the Arsenal result) just shows us we have got a bit of character and a bit of fight, and now we have got an extra point on the board which is encouraging.

“We are playing in the Premier League, so every game is pressure. There are so many clubs that are picking up points here and there and it is not over by a long shot.

“I think both ends of the table will go right to the end of the end. It is about digging in and make sure we stay in this league because we are in and amongst it (the battle to avoid relegation) now and we have to make sure we do the job.”

Michael Turner is nearing a return for Norwich after a hamstring injury, while Elliott Bennett (ACL) is back in training and Jonas Gutierrez could be involved following a calf strain.

Swansea look set to be without Kyle Bartley (hamstring), but Michu will continue his bid to regain full match fitness after starting his first Premier League match since the December draw at Norwich against Arsenal.

Thu 27 March, 2014
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