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Relief at last for Hughton

Norwich manager Chris Hughton heaped praise on his players after they claimed their first away victory of the season against Swansea.

In a thrilling battle at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, it was Norwich who prevailed 4-3 thanks to goals from Steven Whittaker, Sebastien Bassong, captain Grant Holt and Robert Snodgrass.

Norwich joined Everton as the only clubs to leave the Welsh city with maximum points this season and Hughton was pleased with his side’s character after seeing Swansea reduce the 3-0 half-time margin to just one goal.

“We got the right result,” he said.

“I’m delighted because it is an away win against a team who are in form.

“The first half couldn’t have gone any better for us. We could have been four up when Bradley (Johnson) hit the bar early in the second half, but then we didn’t do ourselves any favours by conceding.

“But I was really pleased with our response at 3-2. People would have expected Swansea to go on and draw or win.

“We had a period where we had to dig deep and show character, but the fourth goal was pivotal for us.”

Saturday’s triumph also eclipsed their longest unbeaten record in the Premier League, set in the 1993/94 season.

Norwich went on an eight-game unbeaten run in 1993 and they surpassed that mark against Swansea, a feat the former Newcastle and Birmingham tactician was quick to commend his players for.

“I’m proud of the players irrespective of any achievements or runs because they put in a tough shift every game,” said Hughton.

“We showed enough resilience at the end to see the game through.

“The players deserve everything because they are the ones who identified we hadn’t got enough points earlier in the season even though the performances weren’t so bad.”

Meanwhile, Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said his team did not deserve to win following a poor first-half display.

“We did not play well in the first half,” Laudrup told Sky Sports.

There was a great reaction in the second half, scoring two goals, and it could have been three had the equaliser not been disallowed.

“We didn’t deserve to win after the first half.”

The defeat put an end to a six-game undefeated run for Swansea and, having overcome Arsenal and picked up points against Liverpool and Chelsea, Laudrup believed his side were eventually going to falter.

“I knew a reaction would come to all the good things that have happened recently, the great wins,” he continued.

“I did not know it would come today but it did. So I think it should be a lesson for us.”

Sun 9 December, 2012
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