December 5 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 26, 2013
It may have been a frustrating start to Gary Hooper’s Norwich City career, but if his time at Celtic is anything to go by it could well prove to be a good omen.
Injury in City’s final pre-season friendly meant Hooper’s debut only arrived in Saturday’s home defeat to Aston Villa, while his first start – and two goals – came in Tuesday night’s dramatic league Cup win at Watford. But it’s a familiar pattern for the £5.2m summer arrival from Celtic.
“It’s been frustrating, but I had a calf injury when I first signed for Celtic and it worked out all right there – and it’s working out all right here,” said Hooper. “If I can just keep scoring like I did at Celtic, then it will be a good few years.”
After a 27-minute introduction at the weekend, Hooper was treated to more than 120 minutes of running at Vicarage Road – a big effort for someone short on recent match action, and what City boss Chris Hughton felt was good preparation for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Stoke.
“Give me a few days and I’ll be all right,” said a limping Hooper after his midweek efforts. “It was my first start and with extra-time – and my legs are feeling it now. The ball from Nathan (Redmond) for my first goal was on the money. I thought it was the only chance I had. And my second, it was a great ball by Leroy (Fer). I had a third chance when the ball was over the top, cramped up and played it to Murph – but other than that it was good character to come back and get through.”
City have failed to score in three of their five top-flight games.
Hooper added: “We’ve got to score more goals, but we’ve got a big game Sunday so that’s the next step. I can play with Ricky (van Wolfswinkel) in the hole and Ricky up top. I was in the hole at Watford with Johan (Elmander) up top, and I thought it worked.
“But it’s the gaffer’s decision. We’ve tried things in training and he can see what all the strikers can do, and how he feels about what formation we will play.”