April 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Gary Hooper is looking forward to Norwich City having a few extra bodies back in time for the Christmas period – including rival strikers.
Hooper has hit the kind of form Chris Hughton would have hoped for when he spent more than £5m on the Celtic striker in the summer – form that followed the absence of City’s record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel with a toe problem.
The Dutchman may return when City head to Sunderland on Saturday, possibly alongside Robert Snodgrass who has missed the last five games with a minor knee injury. City start a run of five games in 15 days at the Stadium of Light.
“There are a lot of games over Christmas so we’ll need everyone back,” said Hooper. “We’ve got two big games coming up after Sunderland, both at home (Fulham and Manchester United), so that’s a bonus. But the main one now is at Sunderland on Saturday.
“We’ll get that out of the way and then start again after Christmas, then it’s Man United here. That will be a good game.
“Ricky was unlucky to get injured. I don’t think we’ve played together yet. But that’s another big player to come back from injury. It’s been nice to play two up top. I think me and Ricky, or Johan (Elmander) and Ricky, we’d all do the same.”
Van Wolfswinkel’s return will certainly made life trickier for Hughton, as he looks to get the most out of a full complement of strike options for the first time – Hooper’s pre-season injury having hampered that earlier in the campaign.
“I think it’d work with me and Ricky up top,” added Hooper. “From what I’ve seen of him in training and in games he puts a shift in, he can link up and he can score.
“We’d probably mix it up with who plays higher up the pitch – like me and Johan, where one stays up high and one stays on the midfielder.
“Ricky is training, still getting fit, and me and Johan have been playing well the last three games.
“He wins most of his flick-ons and we link up well. We both put a shift in and we know how to do it, one sitting on the midfielder and we know when to press, so I think it works with us together.”