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Hughton takes relief from away win
Norwich boss Chris Hughton hailed what he saw as a "big" and "thoroughly deserved" 1-0 Barclays Premier League win for his side at Stoke - although he conceded they might have been lucky not to concede a second-half penalty.
Jonny Howson netted in the 34th minute at the Britannia Stadium with a strike from outside the box as the Canaries took advantage of some sloppy play by their opponents.
Norwich had already hit the crossbar through Ryan Bennett and were good value for their lead, but they survived a nervous moment after the break when Leroy Fer appeared to pull back Kenwyne Jones in the box, with no spot-kick being given.
Regarding the Jones incident, Fer confessed after the game that he had "pulled his shirt a little bit".
And when that was put to Hughton, he said: "He (Fer) is an honest lad!
"I have seen the incident, and yes, there is contact - I have to say, I thought the lad (Jones) made a meal of it.
"But if it is something we have got away with, then I think we are due one, as all Norwich supporters will tell you."
The victory was Norwich's second in the league this season, giving them seven points from six games and moving them up from 17th to 14th in the table.
It was also only their second top-flight away win in 2013 - the other being a 3-2 triumph at Manchester City in May - and Hughton said: "I think every win away from home is a big win, particularly for us, given we have found it more difficult away from home.
"I don't think there is anyone who would say different than we thoroughly deserved it. It is a big lift."
Norwich went on a considerable spending spree over the summer and there had been talk in the build-up to this contest of Hughton being under major pressure to get a positive result against Stoke.
Asked about that, Hughton said: "It comes with the territory. If we are talking about managers, there will be nobody that puts them under more pressure than themselves, because we take every defeat heavily.
"Of course, the burden of results is always on you as a manager, but you have to be able to cope with that and have belief - if you didn't have belief in your own ability and what you can do with the team, then you wouldn't take the job in the first place.
"You have to be calm through any periods of pressure, or supposed pressure, because it is about the players not feeling it and getting a result.
"Has there been a little bit more additional pressure? There has, because before the game, we were sitting fourth from bottom and that is pressure in itself."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes, whose side are now 15th, also on seven points from six games, said: "We didn't see that coming today because we have been really good. That is the disappointment and the mystery.
"I thought, heading into the game, we were in good shape.
"We said at the beginning of the year that on occasions this season there would be days where we don't get it right.
"But there is a minimum requirement for what you have to do in a game to affect it, and you need the vast majority of your players playing at that level, allowing you to compete.
"Unfortunately, we didn't have enough players at the right level today.
"As a consequence we didn't make it too difficult for Norwich, and it was an easy result for them. From our point of view that is a galling thing."
On Fer's challenge on Jones, Hughes added: "It is a penalty, but we are not going to hide behind that missed decision.
"I think if we are honest, Norwich deserved to win today because we didn't do enough."
As well as skipper Sebastien Bassong (hamstring), Norwich were without Javier Garrido and Nathan Redmond, who Hughton confirmed had been unavailable due to groin and thigh problems respectively.
He is hopeful all three will be fit for next Sunday's home clash with Chelsea.