December 7 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Chris Hughton has challenged Gary Hooper to lay down a marker in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup third round trip to Watford (7:45pm).
The Norwich boss confirmed yesterday Hooper will make his first competitive start for the club at Vicarage Road after an injury-hit beginning to his City career following a big-money move from Celtic.
Hooper headed south to prove he can cut it in the Premier League and Hughton has no doubt the 25-year-old will prove his worth after a prolific spell at Parkhead.
“That is the reason Gary chose to come here. He wanted that challenge,” said Hughton. “I think his CV says he is a natural goalscorer and whatever level he has been at he has scored goals. The test now for him is to do it at the very highest level when you are up against better centre halves and quicker centre halves. He is used to being in good positions and scoring goals. We brought him in to score goals and he had a good couple of opportunities at the weekend. I felt he came on Saturday and got in the right places and now we feel he has had sufficient training as well so he will start.”
Hooper partnered Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the closing stages of the weekend 1-0 Premier League defeat to Aston Villa in which the Dutchman twice went close in the first-half to adding to his solitary goal on his debut in the opening day 2-2 Premier League home draw against Everton. City’s club-record signing is poised to rest a minor toe injury at Watford, but Hughton believes it is only a matter of time before he adds to his Norwich goal tally.
“With strikers it is really on the day,” he said. “They can have a difficult afternoon when they have a few chances and then in the next game put their one chance away. There would always be a little bit more of a concern if they were not in there looking to get chances. Arguably Ricky had two very good ones (against Villa) and he was in there to convert them so if he keeps doing that regularly enough the percentages will reflect that in the number of goals he does score.”