Norwich’s loss to Everton on Saturday afternoon keeps the Canaries at 20 points, just two points above the relegation zone. That’s six straight Premier League matches in which Norwich haven’t recorded a win, and it’s clear that they’re going to struggle to survive this season. Yet somehow, manager Chris Hughton remains upbeat.
Speaking after the match, Hughton said, “There isn’t a side who has come here [to Goodison Park] and had more possession this season. What you need to do is stick in there. We had the best chance of the half through Gary Hooper, they score a spectacular goal.”
The Canaries manager went on to say, “In the second half I thought we gave a good account of ourselves but we were up against a really good unit.”
Hughton is correct in saying that Hooper had a good chance early on, but his first touch was poor, and Everton keeper Tim Howard was able to easily trap the ball as it got away from Hooper.
And yes, Norwich were better in the second half. But the visitors didn’t really kick into gear until the final fifteen minutes, after Everton were already cruising with a 2-0 victory. The hosts had to be quick to ensure a pair of shots from Robert Snodgrass didn’t land in the back of the net, but overall, the Canaries rarely presented a threat, even with Ricky van Wolfswinkel returning to action.
As the year closed, Hughton came under pressure after recording just one win in six December matches. Failing to keep hold of the lead against relegation-battling Crystal Palace didn’t much help. Despite Hughton’s upbeat remarks, Norwich isn’t improving. Will the manager be able to buy himself a bit more time, or will the club run out of patience before the Canaries can turn themselves around?