Gary Hooper proving his Norwich City worth – after another difficult pre-season
05:20 17 December 2014
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Gary Hooper’s early season frustrations this term have been nothing new to him – now the striker just wants to see Norwich City deliver this season’s goal.
The 26-year-old had to wait until the end of November for his first Championship start of the season, not helped by a pre-season calf injury.
But with two assists in Saturday’s romp against 10-man Huddersfield Town taking his tally to three – plus two goals – since his substitute appearance in the draw with Brighton on November 22, Hooper is starting to hit form and prove his worth.
“To be fair, it happened to me at Celtic as well in pre-season – same calf,” said Hooper. “It’s just bad luck isn’t it? But I’ve come back stronger. I think I’m playing well.
“It’s been hard. I had a big injury and then it was hard to get back in. We were winning a lot of games, so I had to get a my fitness back.
“You have got to be patient. You’ve just got to do it in training and when you’re playing for the Under-21s, it’s mainly for fitness. But it’s nice to play a bit of football.
“Then I got my chance, the gaffer put me on and I scored. Now I’m back in and starting with Cam (Jerome).”
It’s a strike partnership that is bearing fruit too – in terms of goals and assists, but more so their shared job for the team.
“I think me and Cam are linking up well, not just with the ball but the work rate is good,” he added. “One has got to sit in the hole as a midfielder. We both do it, keep swapping around and I think it’s working.”
January is fast approaching – which will almost certainly see Gary Hooper linked with a move back to the Premier League. However, Hooper insists he is solely fully focused on City’s promotion charge. “I want to get promoted,” he added. “There’s no point in playing if we don’t get promoted.”
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• Check out part two of Monday’s Mustard News each week for Sport Extra – and our first look back at Norwich City’s win over Huddersfield Town