Norwich City boss Chris Hughton backs Gary Hooper to hit the goal trail

Norwich City striker Gary Hooper has not scored since Boxing Day. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City striker Gary Hooper has not scored since Boxing Day. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Friday, March 14, 2014
8:00 AM

Gary Hooper can be the man to fire Norwich City to Premier League safety, insists Chris Hughton.

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Hooper has failed to score since a Boxing Day Premier League home defeat to Fulham ended a prolific spell of five goals in eight top-flight matches. Ricky van Wolfswinkel led the line against Stoke City last weekend, but Hughton is adamant Hooper is capable of hitting the goal trail over the run-in.

“Overall with Gary most of what he has produced has been good but strikers go through periods when the goals are going in and others when they don’t and maybe the confidence takes a hit,” he said. “He has certainly been involved during this recent period. If I look at the (Aston) Villa game he was key for Wes (Hoolahan’s) goal, he had an opportunity himself and then a later one as well when he went through with the keeper to beat.

“That is just the ups and downs of being a striker. He is one who has got some goals for us, but the statistics don’t lie. Our strikers have found it difficult.” Hooper was on target the last time City scored more than once in a Premier League game at West Brom on December 7 and Hughton admits that is putting huge pressure on the Canaries’ search for points.

“You have to keep believing that we can score the goals to alleviate a bit of the pressure on the team,” he said. “We went through a period not so long ago when we were creating a lot of chances and they were the games when we felt someone was going to feel the brunt of it. I don’t mind where they come from in the team but it would be a bonus for the strikers. The frustration has probably been more the inconsistency in our play. We haven’t gone through that period we experienced last season where we went on a sustained good run which allows you to build confidence and allows individuals to build confidence.”

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39 comments

  • Well played Gary, you set up the goal for Wes, you always work hard and looked sharp against Villa. However you're dropped for next week, sorry, no logic or reason I can explain to you. Love Chris x

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    spanishcanary

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I agree with you GossVolley, Hooper and Wes actually looked very good for the first 20 minutes against Villa and so nearly scored a second goal. It was only because our defence then fell apart that the pairing had little service after that and second half the manager decided to shut up shop. Again against Stoke, as soon as Hooper came on we actually started to look more of a threat but by then he had already taken Wes off. Lets all hope he finally gets it right with regard to team selection and sub introductions.

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Its about time someone started scoring, or else we are in the you know what

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    Derek McDonald

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Or I could give Chrissy a call and ask him for some genius tactical fishing changes.

    Report this comment

    Cuttlefishpie

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • When you have four forwards who have scored about half a dozen goals between them all season you'd have thought by now the penny would have dropped with Hughton! But no! He is in the land of self-delusion. These front men have scored a lot of goals so why, when they come to Norwich, can they hardly muster a shot let alone a goal? It's not rocket science. It is down to Hughton's method of play which produces very little for any forward to feed off. No creativity midfield so nothing happening there. Wingers on their wrong feet. So no service there either. Virtually every team he selects is unbalanced and even when, very occasionally and probably by accident he does get it right and we play well, he blindly goes back to his failed system for the next game. It is a hopeless mess. Wherever we end up in May my one wish is for this man to be gone. Norwich will achieve nothing under him. The Board meantime continues to sit on its collective hands believing what? That somehow it will all come good, the sun will shine on us and we will score goals and win games. As if!

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    malaga flier

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Mysterious pattern to why 2 high quality proven scorers (possibly 3 although that 3rd one at a lower level) cant score this season. Mind blowing isnt it. Just cant think whats causing it.

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    Mattias333

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • oldtimer, my first car was a 1953 100E Ford Prefect. This was the luxury model. 4 doors. Leather seats. 2 Candlepower heater. And, of course, those wonderful vacuum powered windscreen wipers. I remember driving down to see Norwich play Charlton at The Valley. Got a puncture somewhere near Epping and missed the entire first half. When we got there, Norwich were leading 3-0. Final score 3-3! That car was spotted rotting in somebody`s front `garden` by my dad as he staggered back from the pub one Sunday afternoon. He banged on the house door & offered a fiver for it. Next trick- make it go! That cost another £32, inc MOT. Served me well for about 3 years before it disintegrated. But it lived on, as those luxury leather seats were transferred into my brother`s 1956 Ford Anglia - cheap, downmarket, 2-door & heater-less version of the Prefect. He went to Canada for a while, so I bought the Anglia from him and got my leather seats back!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Once again: "It is better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all possible doubt".

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    waclor

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I responded on the other board, Blaffen Wijs. I fear I am out of my depth now and, after the proposed Plaistow pivo plastering peccadillo, I`ll have to pass on participation. Thass orl a good ol` laarff though, int a` ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I will not be travelling to Southampton but will be in front of a TV to watch live, bracing myself hopefully and possibly deludedly for a good Norwich showing. I don't care who scores as long as we give it a good try. The boring, predictable rubbish HAS to stop because we are seen as a soft 3 points.

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Don't see the point of having 3 of RVWGH, Becchio and Elmander on the bench every week particularly given Becchio almost never gets on. Would rather see a Murphy wild card. HooperHoolahan for me also this week.

    Report this comment

    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • There were transient signs that Hoolahan\Hooper could work. Even Hughton noticed! So he`s banned it.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • He didn't have that much faith in him last Saturday so just what has changed has he come to recognise that RVW is not a premiership striker and what a waste of money he was?

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Brewer, If you insist on talking Man Utd at the expense of my beloved Norwich City (on another article), I prefer to read the stuff about Giggsy's Ford Escort (or Oldtimer's model T Ford), than Your discourse on the "Origins of Man (Utd)". Just saying.

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    User Removed

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Heck, that was quick, I thought I'd only just invented the fish conspiracy. I refer my learned brethren to the article on race and fishism

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Get the jist of your jig, jig but wouldnt call Southampton relegation strugglers. Infact they play a style I wish we could play, managed by the type of manager I wish we had and sign the type of players....well the type of players we do but they actually know how to use them. Ah well, what could be I suppose.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Sorry M333, meant next four after Saints. Definitely not expecting anything there, other than being ripped to shreds by Lallana.

    Report this comment

    jigs69

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • This latest CH offering explains why I got embroiled in a debate about safe standing. Please ignore him and he might just go away.

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • One of the things I liked about Paul Lambert is that I couldn't understand a word he said. Unfortunately I understand what CH says even if he doesn't...Can we have an article on how good Southampton are please Archant?

    Report this comment

    JMH

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • One of the things I liked about Paul Lambert is that I couldn't understand a word he said. Unfortunately I understand what CH says even if he doesn't...Can we have an article on how good Southampton are please Archant?

    Report this comment

    JMH

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Dum diddle dum dum, diddle diddle dum, dummy dummy diddle dummy, diddle diddle dum. Try looking at the way you set up your team and then wonder why none of them are scoring. Nothing he says or does gives me any hope that we'll get anything from the next five crucial games against fellow relegation fodder.

    Report this comment

    jigs69

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Hooper and Hoolahan for this game surely?? That's the only time we look like we carry any threat of a goal....

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    GossVolley

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • My point entirely Stew - if he backs him why when given the choice Hughton always chooses RVW and leaves Hooper out. Not only does he not know what he's doing he doesn't realise what he's saying most of the time.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I was stunned to see RVW starting ahead of Hooper last week but shouldn't have been. Not much CH does makes much sense. He looks our most likely striker to score but that's not saying much. I think RVW might make the grade one day and will probably have a real impact in the C'ship next season if he sticks around. Cpnfidence level for tomorrow is low. Won't be going.

    Report this comment

    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Oi Barking, what's all this about a Model "T" I'll have you know my first car was a Mk 1 Ford Consul. The kuxury of a front bench seat, a column gear change and vacuum wipers that stopped when you accelerated. I rember driving ot to the Carra to see a team that wanted to win games, led by a manager who unlike the present incumbent of that seat wasn't an insipid little drone who hasn't got the foggiest idea of how to get good players to actually play together as a team.I keep on saying it, why don't we collectively make our feelings known to McNasty and co. vocally. Get behind the team I love I always will, get behind the dross we have as a management team?? Never in a million years

    Report this comment

    oldtimer

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • All the chat about whether Hughton starts RVW or Hooper is a little like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. A pointless exercise unless there is a sweeping sea change in the tactics that actually gets the ball to the lone striker.

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    kenfoggo

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Quite right Stew: if Hooper is so good why isn't Hughton playing him ahead of R vW? Just another of Hughton's totally inexplicable statements and decisions. Have to say - he's consistent (but for all the wrong reasons).

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    malaga flier

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • We have 4 strikers who have score 6 (I think) premier league goals between them all season. I wish they would get on this goal trail quickly!

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    Henry

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I think Becchio pronounced Elmander will come on as a sub after70 mins on saturday

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • .....That's his seat on the bench booked then!...Sitting next to Benchio and Elmander no doubt!......

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Get on the goal trail with 9 games to go... What a big Richard

    Report this comment

    Gruff

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Easy to back your players to hit goal trial but would love to know how this is going to happen. Does Chris believe its a case of luck or lack of it? Or does he live in a fantasy land where suddenly his style of play will go from producing Hooper 5 goals to 20 goals? Hmmm I hope the fantasy land one is correct because there is no other way hooper, RVW, Elmander etc are about to suddenly start scoring regularly. Best they can hope for at the minute is the odd half chance.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I will not be watching this weekend, I will be at the falcon lake Ice Fishy Derby trying to win $10000. I I feel like I am not doing well with my bait I might put a dead Elmander bait on instead!

    Report this comment

    Cuttlefishpie

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • .....That's his seat on the bench booked then!...Sitting next to Benchio and Elmander no doubt!......

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I just hope the prediction of my mate in Thailand a Saints supporter comes true. "Saints might win, but it will not be as big as you are thinking. I think that Houghton will be into them this week, and they could come out like 'scalded cats' their performance has got to change soon Honestly though, I really do think that they will "wake up" on Sat. Like I said, I watched the Spurs game and they were soooooooooo slow" His prediction is different to Lawro's and mine, how I would like Lawro and I to be wrong and we win.

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Fascinating stuff, mijn vriend. I wonder if Thomo is reading it on the Sanders charabanc on the M25. If so, he'll doubtless prepare a carefully crafted and fairly expansive reply, arguing why you should have replaced your leather seats with fold-down metal ones.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Never really understood those bench seats, Oldtimer. Granted they were cheaper to manufacture than the heated bucket Rocaro things which PL managers tend to favour in the dug outs, but every time you went round a sharp bend you feared being ejected from the car. And another thing, they encouraged a multitude of sins on the Cattlemarket car park on a Friday night after or before or before AND after enjoying a burger at King Beefy's. But......back to topic......I agree wholeheartedly with you. Shall we make some placards?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • I'm unclear if you're passing on the works outing or passing on your continued participation on these subway walls. Either way, Gek, I suspect you're just tired after wading through "War and Peace (with restricted views) "by Thomo Tallstory (in another place). You'll feel better tomorrow.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Oh I see, Hooper's turn this week, last week it was RvWW he rated!

    Report this comment

    kevin

    Friday, March 14, 2014

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