December 5 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Monday, August 19, 2013
Chris Hughton believes Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s Premier League debut underlined he is so much more than a potent goalscorer.
Norwich City’s club-record signing conjured an instinctive headed equaliser after Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman had cancelled out Steven Whittaker’s opener on a landmark occasion for the Dutchman following his Sporting Lisbon summer switch.
But it was the 24-year-old’s selfless running and work without the ball that impressed Canaries’ chief Hughton.
“One thing you cannot label against Ricky is that he doesn’t work,” he said. “He certainly did what we wanted him to do. It is not just about scoring goals, it is about working hard for the team.
“He gave us an outlet up front and he is willing runner as well. Really pleased for him, particularly as a striker it is a nice feel to get a goal on your debut. We were trying to determine whether it was a shot or a cross from Steven and I’ll leave him to tell you which. I think probably it was a cross but, yes, you have to put it in the back of the net and he is someone who is used to scoring goals.
“The challenge for him now is to do it at the top level. I am not saying he hasn’t done that before because we know he has scored goals in Holland and Portugal but the Premier League is a tough league and arguably it has the best defenders.”
Hughton felt his depleted squad deserved a point against an impressive Everton outfit.
“We were up against arguably Everton’s best XI and we have a little bit more scope to chop and change the squad,” he said. “We were a few short. We lost Robert only really on the morning, which was a big blow for us. Yes, I am happy with a point. I think it was a fair reflection of the game although we are at home and of course you want to win every game.
“You know you will miss out on good spells of possession against a full-strength Everton side. If you look at the quality and the maturity you can see why they have done so well over the last few years. They have two full-backs who play very high and we just weren’t able to sustain it when we got in front.”
Coleman’s close range finish after John Ruddy had parried Nikica Jelavic’s initial angled strike was a source of irritation to Hughton.
“The disappointing thing for me was the second goal we conceded,” he said, “The lad Barkley has scored a screamer for the first, but we could have certainly done better on the second goal. To go 2-1 down at that stage against a team as free-flowing in possession as these are we had to show great character to come back in the game.
“I felt we had some good spells in the first half and got into some good crossing positions so, overall, I was probably pleased more than disappointed. We conceded two goals in a five minute period which really put us on the back foot and we then had to dig in because I felt Everton showed what they are – seasoned international players and quality opposition.”