Norwich boss Hughton satisfied with narrow victory over Stoke

The Canaries manager praised the quality of Tony Pulis' team after Bradley Johnson scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the home side at Carrow Road on Saturday
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton praised his team for grinding out a "tough" victory over Stoke City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The game remained goalless until the 44th minute when Bradley Johnson headed Robert Snodgrass' free kick past Asmir Begovic.

Stoke had chances to level the score in the second half and Hughton admitted that his side had not made it an entirely straightforward three points.

"It's satisfying," he told the club's official website. "It was a real tough game, and irrespective of whether you play Stoke home or away, they are a team of quality.

"Stoke play a very effective style of football that is difficult to deal with. We could have made life easier for ourselves because we had a couple of chances but I'm delighted."

The Canaries’ win was their second in three Premier League matches and propelled them above their opponents into 14th place in the table.

Hughton was particularly pleased to have kept a clean sheet given the injuries suffered by two regular members of his back four before the match.

"For me the most pleasing thing is the clean sheet," Hughton continued. "To change the defence with injuries to [Michael] Turner and [Javier] Garrido was a blow, and it disrupted the back four, but for my players to get the clean sheet was great.

"You have to be fortunate at times that the ball bounces in the right place and you've got to make sure you defend well and stop the supply against Stoke. It's tough to do that for 90 minutes."

The former Newcastle United boss saw his side take advantage of set-pieces, as they had done against Tottenham in the Capital One Cup in midweek, to edge to victory.

"It's an area that we haven't done well enough in this season, especially with the delivery of Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington," Hughton commented.

"We've needed to add set play goals to our game, and I'm delighted to have got that. It was a great header too."