Norwich City column: Chris Hughton - you will not find a nicer man in football

Whenever a big team or heavy favourite loses to a lesser side, the post-match analysis always focuses on the failures of the defeated giants.

Bitter fans and media will point to an off-day, key players being unavailable and aforementioned Big Club ‘didn’t turn up’.

Last week, against Manchester United, the Canaries were organised, bold, played out of defence and upset the 12-time Premier League champions, winning 1-0.

As soon as Anthony Pilkington headed us in front we all knew what was coming - a United equaliser and most probably a late winner. Didn’t we?

Well, not on this occasion. City’s ever-improving defence stood firm as United tried and failed to produce one of their all-too-familiar comebacks.

I was critical of centre-back Michael Turner earlier in the season after a rough start to his Norwich City career, but the big man has bounced back.

A string of solid turnouts was capped off last week with his best 90 minutes to date, nipping in front of the United forwards, making vital interceptions and last-ditch blocks.

Like many of Chris Hughton’s summer signings, Turner is growing into his new surroundings with increasing confidence.

Likewise, John Ruddy has developed into a top-class goalkeeper and one of the few players we have who may see the bigger clubs circling around him in the near future.

There is one man who deserves huge praise above everyone else - Chris Hughton.

Whatever happens at Everton tomorrow, Hughton has turned us into a disciplined and hard to beat unit.

After some early-season thrashings, four clean sheets in the last five games speaks volumes for the work he and his staff have put in on the training ground.

Results have picked up and, most importantly, Hughton has dragged us out of a sticky patch with calmness and dignity - I don’t think you’ll find a nicer man in football.