Chris Hughton
Hughton has a point to prove after his premature departure from Newcastle United.

Signing evaluation

Perhaps the shrewdest piece of business in the window from The Canaries came in replacing the Aston Villa bound Paul Lambert with Chris Hughton. Having worked wonders with Birmingham City in reaching The Championship play-offs, Hughton will looking to prove a point after his tenure at Newcastle United was cut short mid-way through his maiden season as a Premier League manager. Norwich's transfer policy appears not to have altered despite Lambert's departure, with Jacob Butterfield and Robert Snodgrass joining from the second tier, while Steven Whittaker and Michael Turner are welcome additions at the back.

Pre-season form

If Norwich fans are using their pre-season fortunes as a barometer for the new campaign, then they're likely to be gearing up for a roller-coaster of a season. Victory over Celtic and a draw with Ajax sandwiched a win over Peterborough United, where James Vaughan scored his first goal since last summer's pre-season, before goalless draws with Milton Keynes Dons and Hull City.

Reasons why they'll be successful

Hughton is unlikely to change tact from Lambert's rough and ready approach. The mobility and physicality of the retained Grant Holt and Steve Morison scared the life out of most defences last season, and with the creativity of Wes Hoolahan, who made seven assists last season, and the reliability of England hopeful John Ruddy, Norwich have a spine of a team who are capable of providing a shock or two again.

Reasons why not

As with every team that succeeds upon promotion from the Premier League, the second season normally bites back hard. Lambert made a living out of getting everything out of his players, and questions remain whether Hughton possesses his same powers of motivation. Uncharacteristically heavy home defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool at the back end of the last season could be an indication of standards slipping.


On paper, Norwich's squad suggested they were a genuine contender for relegation last term, but continued to pull proverbial rabbits out of hat week after week. With a series of clubs having under achieved last season, Hughton will have a job on his hands to repeat last season's 12<sup>th place finish, with the 40-point marker the No.1 goal again.


Relegation contenders they are not, but the top half is a distant dream. 15th.