Chris Hughton ‘saddened’ by racist slur
‘As manager at Norwich it is something I should not have to deal with or be involved in’
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Norwich manager Chris Hughton has been left “angry” and “saddened” by an alleged racist comment made about him on a social networking site.
Hughton’s preparations for Sunday’s encounter against Chelsea at Carrow Road have been disrupted by the furore over the incident which is now in the hands of the police.
Football’s ‘Kick It Out’ campaign have decided to pursue legal action over the comment which was posted on an unofficial Facebook page purporting to encourage ‘banter’ between fans of Norwich and local rivals Ipswich.
The comments have been reported as a hate crime and Norwich have pledged to help police find the culprit.
Hughton said: “I am very saddened and disappointed. Unfortunately we are in an age where through the social medias it is accessible for anybody to air their views.
“I was brought up in an era where the percentages (of racism) were an awful lot higher and there are a lot of fine organisations that have worked incredibly hard, the ‘Kick it Out’ campaign, ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, the FA, the PFA, over the years to make sure this type of abuse doesn’t exist.
“Does it make you angry? Of course it does, but it is very difficult to stamp out completely. Thankfully there are mechanisms in place that can pick out the perpetrators and the companies have to make sure that becomes a priority.
“There have to be guidelines so people can be made accountable.
“As manager at Norwich it is something I should not have to deal with or be involved in but that is the case at the moment. As a club we are working extremely hard and we are miles away from the dark ages of a few years ago.
“It is something I shouldn’t have to deal with in this day and age.”
Norwich face Chelsea following a good win away at Stoke last weekend which eased some of the pressure on Hughton. But with the Chelsea match being followed by Arsenal after the international break, it is a crucial period for Hughton who will face Jose Mourinho for the first time as a manager.
Hughton said: “I’m looking forward to playing against Chelsea with the quality and the array of talent they have. It’s always a nice thought to be coming against the best managers. I think he has been great for our game. He speaks very well about the English game.
“He has an incredible CV and is used to managing winning teams and that is the biggest challenge. There is no doubt there is something special about him. His CV says that. He’s very charismatic and you can say all those things about him, but the important thing is his CV. He’s a manager who is used to winning.”
The Norwich boss, however, who saw his side defeat Manchester United and Arsenal at Carrow Road last season, predicts a tight match.
Hughton said: “It’s almost impossible to go into a game against the likes of Chelsea and play an open game. You’ve got to press in the right areas and be able to keep hold of the ball.
“We will be underdogs and most people would expect them to win. But you have to use that and at Carrow Road we have put in good performances against the big teams. We have to draw on those experiences.”