Hughton bemoans Aston Villa 'body-blow'

Chris Hughton is ready to lift his Norwich City players for a Premier League survival battle after a 4-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

Two goals from Christian Benteke overturned Wes Hoolahan's early opener on Sunday, before Leandro Bacuna and a Sebastien Bassong own goal condemned Hughton's men to a fifth consecutive defeat on the road.

And the former Newcastle boss admitted that he was disappointed with the manner of the loss, which leaves Norwich staring over their shoulders at the bottom three.

"I thought for 25 minutes we kept the home crowd quiet, got the goal, possibly could have had another and I think for an away performance we couldn't have started any better, but in a 15-minute period we couldn't handle the power and pace they had," he said.

"We know the sort of power that Benteke has, but we needed to have a period after going behind where we consolidated and made sure that we didn't concede again. We didn't do that.

"Consequently, the game was over. You can get as much pride as you want with a second-half performance and you can try to get back in the game but it becomes very difficult.

"Our form has been good, and we have been on the back of some good defensive displays," he added. "So right at this moment it's a real body-blow because that's not how we've been in recent weeks."

Despite a morale-boosting victory over Tottenham last week, Hughton's position at Carrow Road has been the subject of much speculation - and that is only likely to increase after Sunday's reverse.

The 55-year old appears defiant, however, and is also talking up his side's survival chances.

"As a manager, you have to accept any criticism that comes your way after a defeat - It's normal," Hughton added.

"We have a home game next Saturday (against Stoke City) and we know a win and results going our way changes things again.

"I put all of my efforts into the job that I do. It's (the sack) not something that I think about. The only way I can affect that is to get the results that we need."


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