independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Hughton hails Becchio capture

Norwich boss Chris Hughton hopes Luciano Becchio, pictured, can have an instant impact in Norfolk

Manager Chris Hughton is confident new Norwich striker Luciano Becchio can offer his team "something different" as they look to avoid being dragged into a battle for Barclays Premier League survival.

The Canaries head to bottom club QPR some seven points clear of the drop zone, but without a league win since December 15. Argentinian forward Becchio - who scored 19 goals for Leeds this season and arrived as part of a swap deal for Wales international Steve Morison - will provide much-needed back-up for captain Grant Holt.

"Becchio is a player in good form this season, which is important," Hughton told a press conference. "You want someone who is going to hit the ground running and give us something, whether it is starting or on the bench."

Hughton confirmed the Canaries had tabled several "substantial bids" for Celtic frontman Gary Hooper, all of which were rebuffed by the Scottish Premier League side, who are said to have slapped a £10million price-tag on their prized-asset.

"We did put bids in and they were substantial bids, certainly by the levels of this football club," said Hughton. "All the conversations we had with Celtic were good, amicable conversations, but it was very clear he is a player who they had a big valuation of and did not want to lose."

Norwich head to Loftus Road on the back of a 1-1 draw with Tottenham, which went some way to restoring confidence after the 5-0 mauling at Liverpool had made it five defeats from six Premier League games. Hughton knows Norwich must be on their guard.

"QPR are in good form and are confident, they have brought in some very good quality players," he said.

"They had an effective system up against Manchester City. Whether they see this as a home game which is winnable, perhaps their tactics will be a bit different. Every three points for us are valuable, which is the same for QPR. We need to go into the game with the same spirit and determination as we had against Spurs."

England keeper John Ruddy continues his rehabilitation from a thigh operation, and Hughton maintained the Canaries number one must not be rushed back into action.

He said: "John is on track and is in very good shape, but it is one which has to take its course. Of course you would like to have him back as quickly as possible, but we have to react to what is good medical advice and make sure his rehab is exactly how it should be."

Press Association

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