Norwich V Man Utd at Carrow Road - Match Preview
Updated Friday, 16th November 2012
Norwich V Man Utd at Carrow Road - Match Preview.
Hughton to focus on Canaries
Norwich manager Chris Hughton is not about to drive himself mad worrying about Manchester United's quality, and will instead focus on his own team.
United head to Norfolk on Saturday leading the Barclays Premier League table after a battling 3-2 win at Aston Villa, where they overturned a two-goal deficit. England striker Wayne Rooney is a major doubt because of an ankle injury, but in-form Dutchman Robin van Persie should be fit, while Javier Hernandez is pressing for a place in the starting XI.
Hughton, though, maintains he cannot overly concern himself about what United will bring to the table for the early evening televised encounter and just concentrate on getting the Canaries to reproduce the form which has earned them eight points out of the last 12.
"It is a problem because of the quality Manchester United have got, so you have to make sure that, as a team, you are set up well enough that you are going to be difficult to play against," Hughton said.
"You have to make yourself harder to beat and harder to penetrate, but you also have to have a share of the game because if you sit back for 90 minutes, there is only going to be one outcome.
"But you can't drive yourself mad, there are so many different avenues United have and you have to put more emphasis on your own team.
"It is not a game where you are going in settling to lose. We are going in to get a result. How are we going to get a result? That is what our main emphasis has to be."
Norwich will again be without defender Russell Martin (back).
Midfielder Alex Tettey pulled out of the Norway squad for their midweek friendly with Hungary with a minor back problem, but should be available.
On-loan Tottenham striker Harry Kane continues his recovery from a broken metatarsal.
Sir Alex Ferguson insists it has never been easy leaving players out at United.
Whilst Van Persie and Rooney are acknowledged to be automatic choices in Ferguson's first-choice starting XI, compelling evidence has been provided of alternative options over the past seven days.
Hernandez might struggle to get his first United hat-trick but there is little doubt the Mexican's introduction changed the entire course of last week's game at Aston Villa.
Then on Wednesday, Danny Welbeck scored England's equaliser in their 4-2 defeat in Sweden, thus confirming his status as the Three Lions' top scorer during 2012. Yet, to start with all four at Norwich on Saturday is impossible, meaning disappointment for someone is inevitable.
However, even in an era where egos tend to be inflated much more than before, and therefore deflation much more obvious, Ferguson can see no change to the situation he has always had to face. The Scot said: "It is no harder. Teddy Sheringham was never happy being left out. Andy Cole certainly wasn't. He would grump and groan for three days because he wanted to play all the time.
"I have no problem with that. The important thing is do have to feel as though you are being fair and that they are making a contribution over the course of the season.
"That is what the four of them did (in 1999). They all scored such important goals. The legend of Sheringham and Solskjaer scoring the goals in Barcelona will always remain. You can't dismiss that."
Rooney (ankle) and Jonny Evans (groin) are major doubts, but Van Persie is expected to be available after missing Holland's midweek friendly with Germany.