Manager Chris Hughton is confident striker Gary Hooper can be the man to spark Norwich City goal rush

Gary Hooper of Norwich scores his sides equalising goal from the penalty spot and celebrates during

Gary Hooper of Norwich scores his sides equalising goal from the penalty spot and celebrates during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Gary Hooper will get another chance today to prove he is the answer to Norwich City's enduring difficulties in front of goal.

The former Celtic striker is poised to lead the line in Ricky van Wolfswinkel's injury absence after opening his Premier League goal account with the penalty lifeline against West Ham last time out. Chris Hughton admits nine league goals so far this term from his side is an unacceptable return.

'No, its not enough and it is about making sure we find the right formulas,' he said. 'Our statistics say we are getting the ball into that final third more than last season and we are getting more crosses in as well and anyone who has been at our last few home games certainly would not have seen a team who isn't endeavouring to score goals.

'It is not so much just about focusing on Gary but the team as a whole. Gary put that penalty away and I was confident he would do that because he is an excellent finisher. There was a bit of relief from the fans and the boys kicked on and won the game, but those are the margins because West Ham made it very difficult for us in the first half. They had the numbers in the middle of the park but those key moments change games and there was certainly no-one else you would want in that sort of situation.'

Hooper was not part of the club's international brigade who only returned on Thursday after a two-week shutdown since that vital Hammers' victory.


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'Yes, perhaps we would have preferred a game straight away,' said Hughton. 'Of course we had a far better feel going into the international break on the back of a victory. Once you have lost that game the two weeks can become very long. Whether or not it has affected the momentum we might have carried from the West Ham game I guess you will only know that for sure at 5pm on Saturday.'

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