Norwich won't rely on Dutchman

  • Last Updated: July 3 2013, 16:44 BST

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.

Hughton: Pleased with his £8.5m signing
Hughton: Pleased with his £8.5m signing

The Norfolk club shattered their record transfer fee with the acquisition of the Holland forward from Sporting Lisbon, and are expected to further bolster the squad with a £3.5m move for Birmingham's England Under-21 winger Nathan Redmond.

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 on the final day to pull clear of the relegation zone and finish a creditable 11th.

While Hughton is clearly hoping Van Wolfswinkel will give his side a much-needed cutting edge in the final third, the Norwich boss is cautious against heaping too much responsibility on the 24-year-old.

"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," said Hughton.

"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."

Hughton added: "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."

Club captain Grant Holt, who has been linked with a move away from Norwich since Van Wolfswinkel's arrival, was top scorer again last season but with just eight league goals.

Former Vitesse Arnhem and FC Utrecht forward Van Wolfswinkel, though, is determined not to set any targets for a first season at Carrow Road.

"I just want to be important for the team as well as score goals," he said, "but I know I am ready. I will score goals everywhere I play.

"Last year I scored 15 times for Sporting, and also goals in the Europa League, while the year before I was up around 25 for the season.

"I was also getting a good share of opening goals and the crucial goals in games and they are important if you want to win matches.

"I was the main striker and I had to accept that responsibility.

"The manager has said I am a team player also, so it will not only be down to me.

"I will do my best, but I am a team player."

Sweden international Ola Toivonen at PSV Eindhoven is another reported target for Hughton ahead of a three-match tour of the United States later this month.

However, Norwich's resolve over England goalkeeper John Ruddy looks set to be tested by Chelsea, who appear ready to significantly improve their £5million offer which was rejected out of hand by the Carrow Road hierarchy.


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