Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists there is more to come from Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel rues a missed chance in the Premier League win over Sunderland. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images. Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel rues a missed chance in the Premier League win over Sunderland. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images.

Friday, March 28, 2014
11:04 PM

Chris Hughton understands the unflattering comparison between Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Wilfried Bony, but the Norwich City boss is only too willing to launch a staunch defence of his striker.

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Bony’s prolific debut season in England is in marked contrast to van Wolfswinkel’s enduring struggles in front of goal, which continued in last week’s Premier League win against Sunderland. Swansea’s 20-goal striker was on the Canaries’ transfer watch list, but ahead of their match-up in Wales this wekeend Hughton believes top tier football is littered with players who have struggled to maintain such a stratospheric rate of progress over the long haul.

“There is certainly more to come from Ricky,” said Hughton. “I can understand why people will look at that. You can compare him with individuals who have good seasons but now may struggle next season. You can have a difficult season one year and then everything goes right and goals come from every direction. That applies equally to a football team. Form fluctuates from one season to a next.

“What you want with a new player is for them to hit the ground running and three months out injured did not help Ricky to assert himself in this division. I am convinced it would have been different for him without the injury - how significantly different no one knows.”

Hughton conceded the way City’s club-record signing snatched at two excellent chances against the Black Cats was indicative of a striker searching for confidence.

“A really confident Ricky possibly puts those two away against Sunderland,” he said. “First and foremost we want him to get into those positions, to make the runs and show a good work ethic. He will continue to do that and you never see him shy away from any of those situations. The moment I felt he was shying away then that would be a concern. He just has to continue to work hard and get those little bits of fortune.”

Hughton pushed Johan Elmander forward in support against the Wearsiders, but the Norwich boss realises that formula may need to be revised against a Swansea side feted for their fluency through midfield areas.

The Canaries were second best at Everton when Hughton elected to pair van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper in tandem, although the City boss rejects the suggestion a repeat of that experiment would produce the same outcome.

“You can play two up top,” he said. “You know you have to play a certain way and stop them having the amount of possession they like to have. It is not just about the formation. We have a momentum from the last game and that is also a consideration when you come to pick the team.

“If I look at how we set up at Everton that day they ended up scoring two great goals, (Gareth) Barry from 25 yards and a free-kick from (Kevin) Mirallas. We ended up missing two great chances. If we score it’s a different game, a different outlook.”

18 comments

  • He really come good todat didn't he Chris.You paid nearly a smuch for RVW as Swansea did for Bony,so do you think that you was robbed Chris?

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    leslie cater

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I believe RVW will score a hatrick tonight.

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    Jaszli Johari

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I still think RvW is a class act. The trouble is when a striker is playing in a team where scoring goals is not considered a priority, his performance will suffer. A new manager will make Ricky (and Norwich) fly.

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    waclor

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • Talk about stating the obvious, I would certainly expect more than one goal for our money, even in the Premiership. Had he been a defender or even a goalkeeper then fair enough but all strikers need to deliver. I would however start with Hooper today as I think he offers that little bit extra, not a lot, granted but he is more likely to create chances for others as well.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I think RVW will be around next season, and likely under a new manager, to show if he can do better in the EPL. However, if Lennon is the new manager, will he get the chance or will Hooper be the chosen striker?

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    MichiganCanary

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • One question for Hughton WHEN will RVW come good -when we are in the championship maybe?

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    leslie cater

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • The best players in the first half were Hoolahan and Howson, Hughton subs them the worst were RVW and Tettey RVW lacks strength pace and doesn't read the game Hughton should not play him again this season should have put him on loan after his injury . Put Hoolahan and Hooper together, leave Tettey out too one goal doesn't make a player

    Report this comment

    TonyfromThailand

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • Cody McDonald, Victor!

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • On the flip side, Swansea possess Bony who has scored 20 goals compared to RVW 1 goal, Hoopers 6 or 7 and Elmanders 1. However we sit two points above swansea in the league table at this moment in time and ultimately that's what matters.

    Report this comment

    Hello Neil

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I still believe that RVW can go on to become a Canary legend and get a hat full of goals in the future. If he gets one, i think they will start to flow. He is a proven goal scorer all through his career and is going through a lean patch caused by lack of confidence and lack of chances until recently. Once he is off and running, i think he will justify the outlay and even give us a profit when we sell him on in a few years.

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • "More" didn't come today then.

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • As the man nominally responsible for recruiting RvW , he would defend him staunchly, wouldn`t he? Congrats to The Padster for slipping in a stealthy "club-record signing....". We mere peripherals will get the message ere long.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • Sorry Hughton, but you are trying to defend the indefensivable at the moment. RVW recent attempts at scoring goals have been very ordinary and lack quality for someone who is supposed to be a class striker. I'm sure if Hughton had brought in a non league striker he would have managed more than one goal in six months.

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    VictorM

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • CH you must change your script writer. The statement about RVW makes about as much sense as saying that Christmas day will be around the 25 th of December this year. RVW must be the only " striker " in all divisions who by scoring one goal will double his seasons tally. " More to come " We are all counting on it.

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    norman hall

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I see little reason to suppose RvW might ever be up to the task in hand. Ditto Hughton x10. Fiasco.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • Did anybody actually see Winkel play before they bought him? How strong is the Portuguese League? Perhaps it`s like the SPL with just 2, sorry, one, half-decent team then a bunch of L1 standard ones. Hence Hooper`s prolific haul up there. I think Hooper could be OK in a properly set-up team. But RvW - I cannot see what he brings to the party. All Chrissy brings are used tea bags.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • Waclor, if you remove the rose-tinted specs, you might see in RVW what most of us have (not) seen this season......and it'll be easier to spot the obese seagulls on top of the Barclay.

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    User Removed

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • There couldn't be less could there Chris?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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