March 10 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Chris Hughton will positively relish his striking dilemma with Ricky van Wolfswinkel fit to return ahead of Norwich City’s festive spell.
Hughton has had to manage a midfield injury crisis in recent weeks but the Canaries’ boss is spoilt for choice in forward areas with van Wolfswinkel back in the fold after missing eight games with a muscular toe injury.
The Dutchman was kept in reserve for Swansea’s weekend visit but with Gary Hooper in hot scoring form and the likes of Johan Elmander and Luciano Becchio also in the mix Hughton faces a new set of selection problems for the trip to Sunderland.
“I’d love to play three strikers but that is not possible,” he said. “These are the issues you would always want as a manager. I look on that as a nice problem. Ricky will have a good week’s training with us now and we hope he will come into contention for Sunderland and the festive games. It was touch and go whether we used him against Swansea; we decided to look at the bigger picture. You look at someone like Gary now who is fit and scoring and you want strikers to take their opportunities.
“It was unfortunate for Ricky to get injured when he did. It can take different individuals longer to get a rhythm and a feel for the league but I have no doubt he will be a welcome addition when he does come back in.”
City host struggling Fulham on Boxing Day after a Wearside test and Hughton knows it is imperative to pick up points from direct rivals.
“We’re in a good run at the moment, albeit we have had bad results mixed in,” he said. “It goes without saying there is a group of teams you expect to be in that top seven or eight and a bigger group who fall outside that who can all beat each other. I see that continuing through the season.
“People regularly ask me about the fixtures and what they perceive to be a tougher or easier run. I always look at the next one in front of me. You only have to look at some of the results in this division and if you were a betting man there are so many results that have gone against the odds. If you can get results from those around you it denies them points.
“Ironically last season we were very good against the top 10 and right now the pendulum has swung a bit which is why I was disappointed not to get the win (against Swansea), because we know what that would have meant in terms of the league table.”