Norwich City boss Chris Hughton makes no apologies for Gary Hooper’s Cardiff City exit

Chris Hughton's decision to withdraw Gary Hooper in Saturday's 0-0 Premier League stalemate agaisnt Cardiff City provoked...

Chris Hughton's decision to withdraw Gary Hooper in Saturday's 0-0 Premier League stalemate agaisnt Cardiff City provoked strong criticism from sections of the home crowd. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton made no apologies for incurring the wrath of supporters with Gary Hooper's late exit.

The Norwich City chief introduced Johan Elmander for the former Celt after an energetic 70-minute outing on his full Premier League home debut after an injury-hit start to the new campaign.

'It was about fresh legs. That was Gary's second game after being out for a chunk of the season,' said Hughton. 'I never have any problems with the reactions of the supporters because this is their football club and they care deeply. What they are is fanatical and passionate and any frustrations they express is to see us win and I share the exact same frustrations. They are the decisions I have to make. I know the team, I know the balances and the players we have on the bench and I felt we would still create enough chances and have good possession of the ball.

'Gary did well. He is up against two big, mobile centre halves and you want a contribution but he looked sharp, his link up play was good and he got himself in behind. He started later than anybody else because of the injury in pre-season but we hope to see more from him.'

Elmander was deployed ahead of Ricky van Wolfswinkel, with Hughton confirming the toe injury he suffered originally last month against Aston Villa is still a cause for concern.

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'Ricky was very keen to be involved but he has not doing much training so we decided to limit his minutes rather than miss him for a longer period,' he said. 'The difficulty we had with Ricky and the problem he has got is we are in a position where we can either play him, but there is a chance it could be made a little bit worse and for something that has hampered him for a period of time becomes even longer. Our feeling was that if we were to change the striker it would be Johan first and then Ricky. Johan is up to speed.'

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