Hughton out to keep good times rolling

BY foxsports • September 22, 2010

The promoted Magpies have made a creditable start to their Premier League campaign, having atoned for a surprise 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Blackpool by returning from Everton on Saturday with an impressive 1-0 victory. Hughton could have been forgiven for watching the Tangerines' league visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday through his fingers as Chelsea raced into a 4-0 lead by half-time and could have been even further ahead. However, nothing he saw at the weekend concerned him any more than what he already knew, nor dented his belief that his players can compete with the league champions. He said: "What Chelsea are is a phenomenal side at home and at the moment, they look like the complete team. "They can score goals for fun and they are not shipping in any at the other end. "But as soon as the draw was made, we were aware how tough a task it is going to be to get something there. "The most important thing is that we keep a momentum in our game, that we come away from the game having got something from it. "What we certainly don't want is to go there and get on the end of a big defeat. "But the side I put out will be full of experienced Premier League players, and I look forward to a good game." Hughton fielded an entirely different XI for the second-round trip to Accrington, but while he will make changes once again, the quality of the opposition means they will not be wholesale. At least two will be enforced, with keeper Steve Harper facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a shoulder ligament injury and full-back James Perch suspended. Tim Krul will therefore come in between the sticks while England defender Sol Campbell will be handed a debut in defence after reaching full fitness. But the arrivals of transfer-window signings Cheik Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa, whose stunning strike won the game at Goodison Park, have increased the manager's options. However, it is the spirit coursing through the squad which gives Hughton such cause for optimism. He said: "We have a support that, providing they see a team that's having a real go, they will never be critical and at the moment, they are seeing that. "Although the performance wasn't one of our better ones against Blackpool - we certainly had enough chances - it was still a real disappointment. "But we couldn't have bounced back in any better way. To go to Everton - after the form they showed against Manchester United to come back from two goals down and get a point - and win spoke volumes for our team."


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