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Gary Hooper hailed by Neil Adams after key role in Norwich City’s 6-1 Boxing Day demolition of Millwall

18:18 26 December 2014

Gary Hooper grabbed a brace in Norwich City

Gary Hooper grabbed a brace in Norwich City's 6-1 Boxing Day win against Millwall. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Neil Adams hailed Gary Hooper’s two-goal display in Norwich City’s 6-1 Boxing Day demolition of Millwall at Carrow Road.

Hooper grabbed a brace and had a key assist for Bradley Johnson’s first in an all-round performance that drew praise from Adams.

Johnson matched Hooper in the goal stakes with his second consecutive home brace with Steven Whittaker and Cameron Jerome weighing in against a poor Lions’ outfit who replied through Jermaine Easter.

“I thought Gary was outstanding today,” said Adams. “We talk about playing in between their midfield and defence and we thought there would be plenty of space today and that is Gary’s game. Coming off to get the ball and what you notice today he didn’t just drop off to link the play, he looked sharp today. He runs at defenders and a real handful and I was delighted he got his goals. He made the first one look ridiculously easy. He is that link between midfield and strikers and we know he can finish for fun.

“It was goals galore. We wanted to keep a clean sheet. That is not being picky but we set ourselves high standards. Today you can’t criticise anything. From start to finish we totally dominated the game and the pleasing thing was not just we won but we did it in style and everyone goes home happy.”

Millwall boss Ian Holloway pulled no punches on his side’s limp offering.

“You cannot be a Millwall player if you don’t stand up to be counted,” he said. “I was looking for fight and spirit in the second half but I didn’t see it.

I have seen it before in football - but not with this group of players. Obviously I will be looking for a big response against Bournemouth. It wasn’t so long ago that we went to their place and drew 2-2 after being 2-0 down.

“We need that sort of performance and we also need the fans to stay with us, because if they don’t it will be even more difficult for us. The good thing is that we have got half a season to be better than this - and we must be better than this, that’s for sure. Norwich are a good side - and they should be up at the top end with the players they have got and the parachute money they have. They exploited our weaknesses to the full. There were just so many mistakes and it got to the stage where I was almost afraid to attack as they would then just hit us on the break. To be honest it was just horrible to watch. It could have been a lot worse than 6-1.”

Alex Tettey was not part of City’s squad for the latest Championship home romp. Adams confirmed afterwards the Norwegian is a major doubt for Sunday’s trip to Reading after failing to recover from a knee injury aggravated against Derby. Carlos Cuellar is also a major concern after departing in the closing moments against the Lions with a tight calf.

City’s squad will be assessed on Saturday prior to heading to Berkshire.

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23 comments

  • We've played 7 of the top 10 (excluding us) away from home now. I can't help feeling the away game against Bournmouh will be pivotal. Win that and we will be breathing down their necks, lose it and we will be a bit adrift again. Good performance all round, we could easily have had double figures with a bit more care in front of goal.

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    Double D

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • Great result, and there was me saying earlier in the week not to expect too much and I would settle for a single goal win. I must say however that I agree with Preston, Hooper did not have a great first half and I wondered if he would even start the second half. Neil however, got it spot on and obviously said the right things to get him sparkling second half. I hope Cuellar is fit for Sunday as he makes such a difference at the back with well timed tackles and has a good positional sense. Full credit to Whittaker for turning his recent form around, bring on Reading and lets see where we stand going into the new year.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • Yes,Preston, that is true. However I think we were being a bit cautious at first and not doing what had failed us so often - throwing men forward and losing our shape. But having got two goals ahead that was the time for us to press on and at last we are truly doing that - not just content with scraping home but winning in style. To that end I think Hooper was liberated and did what he does best, opening up spaces for others and pushing on with the ball when he got the chance. I think also the team has shape and balance and is a sum of its parts, which makes life easier all round. Johnson is far more effective playing where he is and in a team now gaining in confidence. Under Phelan we are now organised, players are in their best positions which all enables our game to flow. That was so evident at Derby where I though we played some of our best football of the season. Icing on the cake are the 11 goals at home in two games. We are going in the right direction. Whether we can catch up and get into the play-off places remains to be seen.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • Wonderful result. Phelan has undoubtedly been great for us, but equally we had a long good run for those first ten of the season before Phelan arrived. Respect to Adams, Phelan and Holt for what they're all doing. And respect to the players as well. It's a team sport at the end of the day.

    Report this comment

    LittleYellowBirdie

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • GET IN !!! Fantastic performance today. Looks like Mike Phelan arrived just in time. If the slide had carried on into 2015 it would've been too late. MP's Man United pedigree now very apparent in our performances. I bet training has changed for the better as well. I've long championed our 2 Old Firm imports, saying they needed a decent run in the side to establish themselves. Another goal for Whits today. Bit fortunate but hey....they all count! Even if someone else did buy Hooper now, they'd have to part with a lot more moolah than they would've done a few weeks ago. People bang on about Hooper's weight, but the guy in the pic next to him looks like he spends most of his salary in Greggs....Superb result City. PLEASE keep it up !

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • I thought Hooper got told to give more at half time as he wasn't great first half, but 2nd half he showed us what he can do. Other than that Malaga I agree with what you say.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Good summing up Malaga ( we agreed this afternoon as well! ( John in North Cyprus). Silly goal to concede but GD now back to where it was before THAT run of poor results. Can't overstate the importance of Mr Phelan on the team and NA. We are actually performing like an allround team now and revenge against Reading will be all the sweeter says optimistic me.

    Report this comment

    Bogaz John

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Great result and good performances in the last few games but we need to keep this going. Most of the teams above us are playing well and picking up points. We are 7 points off the automatic promotion places so even if we keep winning we still have to rely on teams above us dropping points. At least 2nd place has got to be the target. The play offs can be a cruel lottery as we know only too well. I couldn't take another defeat like the one against Birmingham in the play off final.

    Report this comment

    Flying Canary

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • wow jammy hooper damned by faint praise ! not so much a"stick" to those that like him more a defecating stick insect

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Good point Irish Canary. Wasn't there some chatter about his being tracked by one or two Prem Clubs a month or so ago? If he did leave it would be a blow for sure.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • I hope people will get off Whittaker's back.He is a good footballer and excellent going forward.He lacks pace but if he had that along with his other attributes he wouldn't be playing in the Championship.Anyway,he does a lot of his defending high up the pitch.Martin again solid at centre back.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Malaga..I agree 100%. I just hope we're not putting Hooper in the shop window just before the window opens! Great result

    Report this comment

    Irish canary

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Fair play Malaga, nicely said.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • I agree totally with Malaga and Norman, our turnaround is down to MP. But with Hooper very pleased with his performance, but for Whittaker to score two games on the bounce, with MP sorting things out, no matter who you play up front we will get goals.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Great result , the last 3 games have been fantastic , I thought after the Reading game we were on the down ,how wrong I was . Glad to see Hooper doing well i have always thought he was a class player , more of the same please

    Report this comment

    iMac

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • I and others have been saying here for a long time that Hooper is an excellent player and now, at last, he is fit, getting games and proving the point. It is not just his finishing but the work he puts in and the intelligent running to create chances for others. He learnt at Celtic the importance and value of running off the ball, taking defenders with him and giving other team mates space to operate in. It is no surprise to me, either, that the turnaround in our form and quality of play has come as a result of Phelan's appointment. He has brought to the table the experience and know-how that Adams was striving to learn in his rookie year and which was placing an unfair pressure on him. The season still has a long way to go and on the way all teams suffer loss of form. With this in mind, and while I am extremely impressed with Bournemouth, I cannot see them continuing this incredible run right through to May. Somewhere there will be a stumble. Same applies to Ipswich, although again I cannot take anything away from what they have achieved to date. Come May we will see who prevails.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Oh let this be the start of the long run back into. the Premiership. Is it a coincidence that this good run with all the goals begun with the signing of Mike Phelan? It could be that the board has acquired a top manager on a coaches salary.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Gary Hooper AT LAST , THAT was what we bought you for , keep you a'gorn boy ! Bradley Johnson EXCELLENTO ! now let's not play him out of that position again . Whittaker , very nice and good for you ! and Cameron Jerome , good that you got another goal , but oh-lordy those two you missed . . . . Now onward and upward , the luck is running our way and we're plainly on a run again . O T B C !

    Report this comment

    Bring on Foggo

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • Norwich and Derby will show that they are the best to sides in the Chump come the end of the season ! Bring back the Brewer. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • christmas normally sorts out the men from the boys as to how they end up at the end of the season, fingers crossed lads.

    Report this comment

    gerry mitson

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • I hope Cuellar is okay. We really could have had ten. Even the stewards seemed to enjoy themselves.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • As I said in the match report article: "I sure do give Hooper stick, and those that like him. But it was actually good to see him actually have a great performance all around with both goals and assists against a full strength side. I'm not against saying that." I am against pretending he's great when his play is well below the average Championship striker.

    Report this comment

    jaemae2 .

    Friday, December 26, 2014

  • It's what the fans knew months ago Neil. The only question is why it took you so long to see it? Better late than never though! All of a sudden there are some worried teams above us! OTBC

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Friday, December 26, 2014

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

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