Hughton focused despite slip-up
The Magpies boss will send his side into their difficult trip to Everton on Saturday hoping they can regain some of the ground they conceded last weekend when, with a bumper crowd having turned up at St James' Park expecting them to roll over the Tangerines just as they had done Aston Villa three weeks earlier, they went down 2-0. Hughton's sole mission for the season is to keep his team in the top flight, and Blackpool's visit will have been viewed by many onlookers as one of their few bankers. However, far from being downcast, the former Republic of Ireland international has simply rolled up his sleeves and is ready to dig in once again. Hughton said: "It's not easy - it certainly ruins the rest of your weekend. "But at some stage during that, something has to kick in, and what has to kick in is the realisation that there was more good than bad. "Certainly from a game like that, if we hadn't created the chances, I would have come away from it feeling even worse, but what we did do was create a lot of chances, as we did the game before away to Wolves. "You feel if we are still able to do that, we will possibly get a little bit more fortune than misfortune. "Players being players, they tend to bounce back and have a spring in their step a little bit quicker because that's the nature of the game. "They are the ones who are on the football pitch who have to do the hard graft for 94 minutes. They get their rest and recovery and go again. "As managers and coaches, you are analysing things over and over in your head - but amongst all that, it does make you more determined." Hughton, of course, is relatively new to the management game having only taken permanent charge at St James' in the summer of 2009 with the club in some disarray in the wake of relegation. He led them to promotion at the first attempt with the minimum of fuss, and is approaching his latest challenge with a similar calm. He said: "Everybody has different personalities. I can shout and scream like the best of them, but my personality is my personality. "But whatever your personality, it doesn't make it any easier when you lose a football match. "It is a tough time because of all the questions you ask yourself - team selection, substitutes - but that's the normal process. "It certainly doesn't make it any easier, but you have to bounce back from it and you have to have belief that you can go out in every game and get something from it." That belief will be fully tested at Goodison Park by an Everton side which, having looked dead and buried against Manchester United last weekend, somehow found two injury-time goals to snatch a point from a 3-3 draw. Hughton said: "This is a very tough game. They are a very well-balanced team. They have great quality and I have heard David Moyes say on numerous occasions this season how happy he is with the squad he has got. "They are a side that is very used to being in the top group of teams in this division, and that's very much where I expect them to be come the end of the season." Hughton has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, although striker Andy Carroll continues to nurse a sore ankle. French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa made his debut as a substitute last Saturday and he, like fellow new boy Cheik Tiote, is pushing for a first start.