sport

Hughton has respect for Buckle

Norwich manager Chris Hughton always felt Luton Town boss Paul Buckle had the makings of a first-class coach.

But he is determined not to be a big-name scalp in their FA Cup clash at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Buckle played alongside Hughton at Brentford when the former Republic of Ireland defender was coming towards the end of his career.

The duo have maintained their friendship since, with Hughton going on to manage Newcastle and then Birmingham before taking over at Carrow Road in the summer.

Blue Square Premier side Luton pulled off a shock result when they dumped Wolves out in their third round clash with a 1-0 win at Kenilworth Road.

Hughton, though, has no intentions of going the same way against his one-time team-mate.

"We played together and I followed his career, we have met quite often along the way and kept in contact," Hughton said at a press conference.

"Paul was always very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, so it is no surprise to see his path go into manager, so aside from Saturday of course, I wish him all the best."

Hughton is set to make some changes, as he did for the 3-0 third-round win at Peterborough.

However, the Norwich manager will not be taking the Hatters challenge lightly.

"Although Luton are a conference team, they are a big name and a team with a very good history, they still get a very good support and at their level have very good players," he said. "We are very conscious of what can happen, but it was the same when we played Peterborough in the last round.

"This is what cup football is all about and we have to be very guarded."

Norwich's win at London Road has been their only success in the last seven, losing five Premier League games in that poor run.

Hughton is seeking a positive response from last weekend's 5-0 mauling at Liverpool, which would set things up nicely for the visit of Tottenham next Wednesday night.

"We have been here before, as most clubs have been at our level, there is only one reaction you want and that is to bounce back from it," said Hughton, whose squad recovered from a terrible start to the season with a superb 11-match unbeaten league run.

"We have already been on the back of a couple of big defeats this season and managed to do it.

"It is about knowing where you are and that occasionally these things are going to happen.

"It is not about what happened in the past, now it is about putting in performances that are going to get us through to the next round of the FA Cup and afterwards some points in the Premier League."

Hughton, meanwhile, admits it is proving a frustrating transfer window for the Norfolk club as they look to bring in reinforcements ahead of the deadline.

Norwich have been linked with several players, mostly forwards.

An 8.5million bid for Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel is reported to have been one of several offers lodged with Celtic striker Gary Hooper, Swansea forward Danny Graham and Kei Kamara of Major League Soccer outfit Sporting Kansas City all confirmed targets.

Hughton admits the frenzy surrounding just who might come into Carrow Road can be distracting.

"You are spending an awful lot of time speaking to people in the game and watching DVDs, when really most of your efforts and concentration wants to be on the games," said Hughton, who has brought in goalkeeper Lee Camp following his release from Nottingham Forest as back-up while England stopper John Ruddy continues his recovery from a thigh operation.

"But you just have to work around it the best way you can."

Hughton added: "If we bring no one in, we have a very good squad here who have fared reasonably well this season.

"It is all about getting enough points to be where we want to be. We don't lose sight of what is important, but it is difficult."