Chris Hughton urges Ricky van Wolfswinkel to be more selfish for Norwich City
07:15 21 January 2014
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Chris Hughton is urging Ricky van Wolfswinkel to be more selfish in his bid to hit the Premier League goal trail this season.
Norwich’s club-record signing has failed to add to his solitary goal scored on the opening day of a campaign blighted by a toe injury.
The 24-year-old has started both of the Canaries’ last two top flight games alongside Gary Hooper, but City’s goal return remains one of the lowest in the Premier League.
Norwich have scored 18 goals from 22 games, with former Celtic hitman Hooper topping the list with five goals since his arrival from Glasgow. Hughton knows City’s quest for Premier League survival rests on improving that tally, and van Wolfswinkel will inevitably remain the focus of attention after his big-money switch from Portugal.
“The money we paid will always mean there is pressure on him. We just have to get the formulas right,” said Hughton. “Possibly he can try to do too much in other areas of the field and maybe he has to be more selfish in the box, but what you have to remember with Ricky that right now if he had not had his injury problems he would be in full flow.
“He is a very confident young man who is used to scoring goals. He is playing in a different league and having three months out could not have helped a new striker.”
Hughton has complete faith in his twin spearhead to prove their worth over the remainder of the Premier League season.
“Of course it is a concern about the strikers. We want to be winning football matches but I know Ricky and Gary are working so hard,” he said. “Sometimes it can be a fortunate goal that sets them off on a run but if they are working hard and endeavouring to get in the right positions then as a manager you are always confident it will come for them. Yes, it has been disappointing for them because they are two lads used to scoring.”
Hughton insists he is willing to experiment to try and unlock the Canaries’ attacking potential after pairing his strikers together in recent games, whilst Wes Hoolahan and Luciano Becchio have earned brief cameos in recent weeks.
“To play both is a very difficult formation and not too many teams go with those out-and-out strikers,” said Hughton. “I am always conscious that I would like to play two up front, a midfield attacking schemer and two wide players who can tuck in and also score goals. “Unfortunately you can’t have all of that. I won’t play two up front every game as that is not right for every circumstance.”