Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Hughton: We can't rely on Ricky

Ricky van Wolfswinkel, left, has joined Norwich from Sporting Lisbon

Norwich manager Chris Hughton insists his side's Barclays Premier League fate next season must not rest solely at the feet of £8.5million striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

The Norfolk club shattered their record transfer fee with the acquisition of the Holland forward from Sporting Lisbon. For much of the second half of last season Hughton's team struggled to find the net, which saw the Canaries dragged back into a survival scrap before eventually scoring four against West Brom and then three in the win at Manchester City to finish 11th.

While Hughton is hoping Van Wolfswinkel will give his side a cutting edge in the final third, the Norwich boss is cautious against heaping too much responsibility on him. He said: "We have brought Ricky in here for a particular reason, but he is a team player, first and foremost, that has a responsibility to the team to lead the line and ultimately score goals, but that comes with the territory."

The former Birmingham boss, who is also hoping to sign England Under-21 winger Nathan Redmond from his former club for £3.5million, added: "I don't believe with how tactical and the speed of the game nowadays that you can just be a goal scorer, first and foremost you have to be a team player.

"The responsibility Ricky has is a normal one for a football player, he wants to do well. If there is a pressure on any individual, the nature of those type of people is to welcome it and not shy away from it.

"You have to go out and cross that white line in front of thousands of people and there is always that responsibility, but that is what these players enjoy."

Van Wolfswinkel earned his second senior Dutch cap against Indonesia in June, and is confident he can make a quick transition from the Portuguese league to the hustle-and-bustle of the English top flight.

"I want to show from day one what I can do and I hope for a great season," he said.

"At the beginning, it will be new for the defenders who play against me, that will change after a while - but if they know how I play or if they don't know how I play, it will always be up to me to do well for the team.

"I know my qualities fit in the English league."

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