Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Chris Hughton has challenged Kei Kamara to build on an impressive start to his Norwich City career and earn himself a permanent Premier League deal.
The on-loan Sporting Kansas City frontman opened his goal account for the Canaries in a storming second half cameo that earned City a priceless 2-1 top flight win over Everton at Carrow Road.
Kamara’s pivotal introduction left Hughton fielding inevitable questions on whether he is keen to take up an option on a longer term move for the Sierra Leone international when his initial loan stint ends in May.
“At this stage he has scored for us here so we will have to see how he develops,” said Hughton.
“He’ll help us but in terms of how much of a difference, I’m probably a little bit reluctant to single out one player. He is only one player in a team and this is his first goal and his second appearance coming on.
“Judgment time will come after a few games, but I have to say this is not a particularly tough group to integrate into. Anyone who comes into here is well looked after by the other players and he has fitted in very nicely.”
Hughton wants to reduce some of the rising hype surrounding Kamara’s immediate impact following his January transfer window switch from the MLS.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” said the City boss. “I think Stoke looked at him. We had the opportunity to bring him in and jumped at the chance. Ideally, you want people who are going to come in and be good people as well.
“We have a lot of good personalities in the squad – we don’t have a bad one there – but he’s also not a young, inexperienced player. He is 28 and that is a good age and he is a good character, very down-to-earth and really delighted at the prospect of firstly being here at Norwich.
“He really wants to do well and it’s a good opportunity for him.”
Hughton believes the additions of Kamara and prolific ex-Leeds’ forward Luciano Becchio will inject competition into a key area of his squad.
Becchio was replaced by the Sporting Kansas loanee just before the hour mark against the Toffees, but Hughton is convinced the Argentine will make his mark.
“I thought Luciano worked really hard (against Everton). He’s a different type of player to Kei and it’s important to have that variety,” said Hughton.
“I thought the work ethic was excellent. Luciano sometimes found the ball didn’t bounce for him as he would have liked, but he managed to keep the ball up the park for us and I thought he worked incredibly hard for us.
“I am very comfortable with the strikers we have. If you look at those two and also Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson – who I left off the bench – we have different types of strikers now available.”