The arrival of a proven goal-scorer has intensified competition for places in Sheffield Wednesday’s attack.
But Gary Hooper recognises he may have to play the waiting game as the Norwich City loanee bids to fire the Owls up the Championship table.
Carlos Carvalhal is spoilt for choice up front, with Hooper, Lucas Joao, Fernando Forestieri, Atdhe Nuhiu and Sergiu Bus battling it out for two striking berths. Joao is in a rich vein of form, hitting two goals in his last two outings, and Forestieri is available for selection again after sitting out Tuesday’s cup success over Arsenal.
“The gaffer can’t change it straight away,” Hooper told The Star. “He’s got strikers who are playing well, scoring goals and helping the team get results so hopefully I can add to that.
“It’s the gaffer’s choice in the end who plays. I’ve got to train hard to get in the team.”
The 27-year-old sustained an ankle problem after his move to Hillsborough fell through in August. The injury kept Hooper out of action for over a month. Although he accepts he is short of match fitness, Hooper is desperate to make an impact.
Hooper, who registered 63 goals in 90 league starts for Celtic, said: “I have not played much this season so I’m not 100%.
“Now I am fit and raring to go. I want to play football and score goals. That’s why I am in the game.”
Norwich went up last year and Hooper sees no reason why the Owls can’t follow in their footsteps.
“The boys are feeling very good and are unbeaten in nine games,” he said. “They have been playing well and doing exactly what the gaffer wants.
“We have got a strong squad and very good players. Everyone is playing well but there are some top teams in this league.”
Wednesday go into tomorrow’s encounter with Nottingham Forest aiming to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions.
“Forest will be a tough game so we have to focus on that,” said Hooper. “They have some good players and a good manager.
“But I thought we played well on Tuesday. Arsenal weren’t at it but you’ve still got to play well. We scored three goals and the crowd went crazy. It was a good win.”