Chris Hughton backs Ricky van Wolfswinkel to fire for Norwich City

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel is denied a first Norwich goal by Tomasz Kuszczak in the midweek 1-1 friendly

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel is denied a first Norwich goal by Tomasz Kuszczak in the midweek 1-1 friendly draw at Brighton. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton is backing Norwich City's club-record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel to sharpen his predatory instincts over the Canaries' final pre-season fixtures.

The Dutch striker – who yesterday was named in Louis van Gaal's Holland squad for a friendly against Portugal on August 14 – was only denied a maiden goal for his new club by a smart stop from Brighton's Tomasz Kuszczak in City's midweek 1-1 friendly outing on the south coast.

Van Wolfswinkel plundered more than 50 goals in a prolific two-year stint at Sporting Lisbon to pave the way for a Carrow Road transfer and Hughton is adamant the 24-year-old will prove his worth.

'I'd love to see him get one and of course when that chance presented itself we were all willing him to score,' said Hughton. 'But for somebody that has scored as regularly as he has done in his career it is not something that will be a massive concern for him. By the same token, when you are a striker it is always good to be scoring goals at whatever level and whatever part of the season or pre-season.

'I think the fans can see what type of player he is. He's someone who likes to get the ball and run at opponents and commit them in forward areas and stretch teams. Right now it is probably more a case of him learning about the other lads and them learning about his game and the runs he makes and where he wants the ball. I've been around enough pre-seasons now to realise what you want is to make sure you start that first game of the season fit, free of injury and having done what you feel is the appropriate work from a fitness point of view.'

Hughton deployed Norwich's other high-profile Dutch summer signing Leroy Fer in a chief support role against the Seagulls' and the City boss believes such a pairing could trouble plenty of Premier League defences.

'With Leroy he is a powerful midfielder that likes to get on the ball and show his quality,' he said. 'He is a player for me who can play in either of those two roles in midfield. We can use him more defensively but he can also play in an advanced role. There is no doubt he has plenty of ability and the pair of them have that quality. They showed some really nice touches. We decided beforehand to play Leroy and Ricky for 60 minutes at Brighton because we have another game on Friday (against Braga).'