Norwich City’s DVD pick Kei Kamara proves his Premier League quality
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Chris Hughton saluted the unquenchable spirit of his Norwich City players that underpinned a ferocious late assault to overcome Everton in a Premier League epic at Carrow Road.
City trailed to Leon Osman’s first-half opener until Kei Kamara rose imperiously to head home Robert Snodgrass’ outswinging corner with six minutes left of normal time.
Hughton admitted he would have settled for parity, but the Canaries surged forward in pursuit of a priceless winner – despatched by Grant Holt deep into stoppage time - that could carry huge ramifications for Norwich’s survival bid.
“The difference in this division between one point and three points is massive and we managed to do that,” he said. “There is nothing better to lift a support than scoring goals and I think they could sense we could get the winner at 1-1. It does an awful lot for the feel of the whole group.
“I thought at 1-1 we absolutely deserved that result. The lads showed great drive and determination to get the winner. Once you are 1-0 down and you get back to 1-1 you have to be honest and say we would settle for that. But those lads wanted something different. I don’t know how crucial that win is. It is certainly pleasing to be past the 30 point mark. That is a psychological thing for us and a big confidence thing. It could possibly be a key game. It was certainly a big win.”
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Kamara’s decisive cameo thrust the Sierra Leone international into the spotlight. Hughton, however, opted to dampen the rising expectation surrounding the Sporting Kansas City loanee.
“At this stage he is probably not in a moment where we can start him because he is behind everybody else in terms of fitness. But he is a wonderful impact player,” said the City boss.
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“What he has and what we see is a player who has that ability and pace to get the other side of defenders and he is good in the air. He has good possibilities and he can also play in a wide area as well. But he has probably had two weeks, a week and a half of training and not played too many games up to this last month.
“I am really delighted for him. It was a little bit of a risk bringing a player over. You don’t know how quickly they can settle into the league and certainly in January that is a bit of a risk. Kei is a lad who wants to do really well and this is a good opportunity for him.
Hughton revealed that he had not watched Kamara in the flesh prior to his arrival from the MLS after a previous trial at Stoke.
“I think our chief scout had seen him but I had not seen him live,” he said. “Our chief scout was aware of him and that we might be able to bring him over as he had been in this country before. It’s not unusual, but generally not the case. Most players you sign you have had the opportunity to see. You have to trust the judgement of your chief scout and people you know. Mostly it is the hours of DVDs that we spend watching. The ideal scenario is always to do your due diligence and go and watch the player.”