Norwich City vs. Reading  2 - 1


Hughton: Norwich not safe yet

20 April 2013 21:38

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton believes his team need to do more to guarantee themselves a spot in the English Premier League.

Goals from Ryan Bennett and Elliott Bennett helped Norwich to a 2-1 win at home to Reading on Saturday, lifting them seven points clear of the bottom three.

While Hughton said the result felt like a 'big win', he believes his side are not yet out of the relegation fight.

"We needed it. There are teams around us that are all capable of winning games," Hughton said.

"How it will end up in the end, numbers wise, I don't know, but at the moment this feels like a big win for us.

"I think it will take more points. I've always thought around that 40 mark and I think there are teams around us that are still very capable of winning games.

"I do think it will take more, but three points today has been a big help towards where we want to go."

The win moves Norwich into 13th spot on 38 points, two short of the 40-point mark often considered enough to survive.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins is yet to win after four games in charge and, with his side 10 points from safety, said they needed to accept the difficult position they were in.

"We can't hide away from the situation where we are in the league. I'm not going to do that," he said.

"The players are going to work very hard – they are working very hard – and we want to make sure the supporters have got something they're going to enjoy watching and ultimately winning football as well."

The former Southampton manager lamented conceding twice in as many minutes early in the second half.

Reading have picked up just five of a possible 51 points on the road in the league this season.

"I thought we did well in the first half," Adkins said.

"Unfortunately when we came out in the second half, for a 10, 15-minute period, we didn't deal with the physicality of Norwich City.

"To concede two goals so close together in the game, it affectively cost us the game."


Premier League: Norwich City 2 Reading 1

20 April 2013 18:13

Norwich City took an enormous step away from the relegation zone and kept Reading rooted to the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win.

The first half was largely lacking in quality, although both sides created a smattering of chances at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The encounter improved in the second half as Ryan and then Elliott Bennett scored within moments of each other before Garath McCleary scored what proved to be a consolation for Reading.

Reading are 10 points from safety and almost certain to be relegated, while Norwich jump to 13th and seven points clear of Wigan.

The home side started the stronger and went close in the fourth minute when Elliott Bennett shot just wide.

Norwich were enjoying almost total domination and nearly took the lead in the 12th minute, as Javier Garrido hit a low shot that had Alex McCarthy scrambling.

But Reading began to exert more influence on proceedings as the half went on as they took the sting out of Norwich's early pressure.

The visitors created their best chance in the 42nd minute as a driven Adrian Mariappa cross was turned over the bar by Pavel Pogrebnyak with the goal gaping.

Moments later, Norwich created a good chance as Kei Kamara took advantage of a knockdown to hammer a shot that was saved well by McCarthy.

The home side began the second half as they ended the first, with Kamara forcing a good save from McCarthy after a superb break forward.

Norwich took the lead in the 50th minute, as a Robert Snodgrass corner caused havoc in the Reading penalty area and substitute Ryan Bennett was on hand to sweep home.

Just two minutes later, Norwich had a second as a cross found Grant Holt's head with McCarthy uncertain in the challenge, and Elliott Bennett put away the chance.

The hosts conceded in the 72nd minute slightly against the run of play as McCleary let fly with an ambitious shot that Mark Bunn could only parry into his own net.

Reading were given hope by their goal as they went searching for the crucial equaliser, but Norwich clung on for an important win.


Premier League preview: Reading v Norwich

18 April 2013 11:02

Reading desperately need a win at Norwich on Saturday to give their slim Premier League survival prospects any hope at all.

Nigel Adkins knew he was taking a job with a near impossible task when he replaced the sacked Brian McDermott last month in the Reading hot seat, and he began his tenure with back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and his former club Southampton.

He did, however, claim his first point as Reading boss on Saturday in a 0-0 draw at home against Liverpool to give the players a boost ahead of their trip to Carrow Road.

Reading sit bottom of the Premier League, 10 points from safety, and need to make every post a winner if they are to pull off a miracle and avoid the drop.

The last time they encountered Chris Hughton's side, Reading were held to a 0-0 draw at home in November.

Norwich, meanwhile, are in 14th place - just four points clear of the drop zone themselves, which should add a sense of urgency for both sides in this match.

In their last start, Norwich led 1-0 heading into the final five minutes before Arsenal banged in three late goals to take a 3-1 victory at the Emirates, and Hughton will be keen to shore up his defence for this encounter.

As you would expect from two sides occupying such lowly league positions, both haven't had much to sing about in recent weeks.

Reading have gone eight league games without a victory, while Norwich haven't won in six Premier League matches - although they have three draws in that run.

Adkins has some concerns from the physio room, with goalkeeper Adam Federici still nursing an ankle problem and Jason Roberts ruled out for the rest of the season with a hip injury.

Hughton has some better news coming from his fitness staff, with goalkeeper John Ruddy nearing a comeback from a hip issue, while winger Anthony Pilkington has overcome a hamstring injury and should be available for selection.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25
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