Norwich City boss hails master marksman Gary Hooper after extra-time Watford Capital One Cup win
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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton saluted his natural born finisher after Gary Hooper's brace helped clinch a dramatic 3-2 extra-time Capital One Cup win on Tuesday night against Championship outfit Watford at Vicarage Road.
Hooper pounced in the 115th minute to cap a pulsating comeback from the Canaries to book a place in the fourth round. Watford were 2-0 up and cruising until Josh Murphy lit up his senior debut for the club with a long range strike, before Hooper headed an equaliser in the final seconds of normal time. City then surged forward in extra-time and Hooper calmly slotted past Hornets' keeper Jonathan Bond to secure a remarkable win.
'Gary is a finisher. Plain and simple,' said Hughton. 'He is someone who is used to scoring and with all strikers it is about the service they get and then can they show that quality in the key moments of a game. I thought his first goal was a great one. The movement was superb and the same for the winner, but it was also a wonderful ball from Leroy Fer. When the game opens up like that for you as a striker you will get opportunities. I am probably as delighted with the fact he has got 120 minutes under his belt as the two goals.'
Hughton also reserved special praise for teenage debutant Murphy.
'My intention was always to involve him,' he said. 'I thought long and hard about starting him and perhaps the result on Saturday made me change my mind. I was so pleased for him and what a goal he produced. He can certainly benefit from the open spaces and with somebody with his quality and pace you know he can hurt teams.
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'We were conscious the result on Saturday was not the one we wanted and when you are on the back of that disappointment this result is even better. I knew once we got the first goal we would have great momentum. Of course when it is that late in a game you don't manage to do it and it will usually take something special or a mistake. These are a good side and you just need that one little bit of good play. Nathan Redmond produces an excellent cross and Gary's movement was great.'
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