Boss’ respect for Canaries
Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of his respect for Norwich City and opposite number Chris Hughton ahead of Saturday’s encounter at Carrow Road.
Hughton endured a difficult start as Canaries boss after replacing Paul Lambert but appears to be stamping his influence on the East Anglians. A shock win against Arsenal should act as a warning to the Reds ahead of the weekend and was the start of a five-match unbeaten run for City.
Heavy defeats to Fulham, Chelsea and Liverpool appear to be well in the past and there is little doubt that United face as difficult an examination as last term, when Ryan Giggs popped up with an injury-time winner.
When asked by ManUtd.com if that strike prompted the boss to think it could be the Reds’ year, he replied: “Yes, I did. I thought the momentum was there for us.
“It wasn’t an easy game and you see Norwich’s performance against Arsenal. I’ve got a lot of respect for Chris Hughton. I think he’s done a fantastic job at Birmingham and Newcastle and, with that performance against Arsenal, you think they’ve maybe turned the corner in terms of Chris’ introduction there as manager.
“It’s always the same when a manager goes to a new club. There’s a different way of training, there are different ideas about players and maybe Chris is getting it together now. I hope not when it comes to our game, mind you! But that performance against Arsenal was very good.”
David De Gea needed to be at his best in last season’s fixture and Sir Alex was relieved to head home with all three points.
“They kept whacking in crosses to the big man up front for Norwich, Grant Holt,” he recalled. “Anthony Pilkington was wide left that day – he was here as a kid, as was David Fox of course. I remember David well but I don’t remember Pilkington, he was in the academy.
“David Fox was a professional here for a couple of years, he was a great pro. He’s a great footballer with a good family background – his father Peter was a goalkeeper at Stoke City.
“We played well in the first half at Norwich last season although they kept banging in these crosses. In the second half, Norwich did well, they got the goal and for the last 20 minutes it was a bit of a hanging on job for us. But I think we deserved to win all right.”