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Hughton laments Norwich defensive display
Created on May. 04, 2013 3:28 PM EST
Norwich manager Chris Hughton criticised his defence following their 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.
Hughton's side fell to their fourth defeat in their last six matches as a late second goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor clinched the points for the visitors after Grant Holt had cancelled out the Villa forward's earlier strike.
The Carrow Road outfit are now just three points above the Premier League relegation zone, and Hughton was quick to blame his side's defensive lapses for the defeat.
He said: "I'm annoyed and frustrated because there was no way we should have lost or deserved to lose. We were the better side over 90 minutes but Villa have pace on the counter-attack and we have conceded two poor goals."
However, the former Newcastle boss also vented his frustration at referee Kevin Friend, who he feels should have dismissed Villa defender Joe Bennett when he gave away the penalty that resulted in the hosts' equaliser.
"Joe Bennett shouldn't have been on the park - he was on a yellow card when he conceded the penalty and had two or three fouls after that. I find it incredible that he was still on the park," he added.
Hughton accepts his side are now in the thick of a relegation dogfight but feels that their fate is still firmly in their own hands.
"We're in a battle, we know that. This was a game we wanted to get something from - this is a game that we wanted to win and we haven't done that," Hughton continued.
"Next week's game against West Brom becomes a bigger game. We will need a better performance but we can't concede the goals we conceded here and expect to win football matches.
"We've put ourselves in this position but it's still in our hands, it always has to be in your hands - if we were to get a win next Sunday then that changes things again."