Hughton refuses to rule Chelsea out of title running

The 54-year-old Canaries boss has stated that he feels Rafa Benitez's outfit still have enough within their squad to mount a serious challenge right up until the end of the season
Norwich manager Chris Hughton still feels that Chelsea stand a chance of competing for the Premier League title this season.

The Blues are currently third under interim coach Rafa Benitez, 11 points behind league leaders Manchester United with a game in hand and have scored 25 goals in their last six games across all competitions after thumping Aston Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Hughton believes that this sort of form, coupled with their strength in depth and attacking threat means they need to be taken seriously when it comes to the title race, particularly given how long there is left in the campaign still to go.

"They have great attacking options. We experienced that at their place a couple of months ago," he told reporters.

"Victor Moses is starting to show his real quality now. Fernando Torres is hitting very good form.

"The fact they kept a clean sheet against Aston Villa as well shows the quality and depth they have throughout the squad.

"David Luiz playing in midfield is a role everybody felt was a role he could do and he showed some real quality.

250/1 Chelsea are 250/1 with bet365 to beat Norwich 7-0 at Carrow Road on Boxing Day

"They are fairly formidable. They are placed very well in the league with a game in hand. They are still in the Capital One Cup with a great chance to progress [to the final].

"At the moment Chelsea are on a high and he [Benitez] will be judged on that.

"He will perhaps look at the two teams above them at the moment and think 'will they go through the season without dropping points?'

"That is very difficult. Swansea showed against Manchester United that everybody is fighting. If they put a good run together then everything is possible."

After seeing their ten-game unbeaten run come to an end with a loss away against West Brom, Hughton believes their exploits were a tremendous achievement given the quality of the opposition in the league.

He added: "For a club like ourselves to go unbeaten in this division [for 10 games] was a fantastic run.

"That has gone now and we have two very tough home games to look forward to.

"If someone had asked if would we be happy with the league position and the points we have got at this stage of the season, we would have said 'yes'.

"But it is about trying to continue the good things we have been doing. A good thing for us is we have been in every game. We certainly deserved a draw from the game at West Brom.

"These are the games you have to look forward to. We will make sure we are well prepared."