Gary Hooper’s Norwich City gamble pays off ahead of Sheffield Wednesday’s Wembley tilt
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Gary Hooper insists his gamble in leaving Norwich City has paid off as he targets a third play-off promotion success of his career at Wembley with Sheffield Wednesday.
Hooper cut his ties at Carrow Road in January following a successful loan spell at the Owls and the 28-year-old is now just one win from a Premier League return after Wednesday knocked out Chris Hughton's Brighton in the play-off semi-finals earlier this week to set-up a clash against Hull City.
The former Celtic striker featured in both of Norwich's play-off semi-final games with arch rivals Ipswich Town but was an unused substitute 12 months ago as the Canaries' triumphed against Middlesbrough.
'It (the Final) is the best day you can have so long as you win,' he said, with Hooper also winning promotion at Wembley with Scunthorpe in 2009. 'Form doesn't really go into a Final at Wembley and anything can happen. Hopefully it happens to us. I've experienced going up through the leagues and played in a few cups so I know what it's all about going to Wembley and doing well. I didn't get too carried away (after Brighton) because I know we have one more game. We are not promoted yet. The first half wasn't nice. I thought we were lucky. Brighton were on top all the time and had a few chances to go ahead. They finally did take their chance and it was all Brighton until we scored our goal and that killed the game. We dealt with them well in the second half.'
Hooper is now back in training for the Owls big date at Wembley on May 28 as he looks to add his 13 league goals in 29 appearances for the Yorkshire club.
'It was a big call for me getting out of Norwich and coming down to the Championship,' he told the Sheffield Star. 'I needed to get out of Norwich because I wasn't playing. I need to play and this has helped me score more goals and hopefully get promotion.'