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HOOPER HAILED

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NORWICH CITY boss Alex Neil hailed hat-trick hero Gary Hooper after the 4-0 win over Blackpool.
The former Celtic striker was axed from the starting line-up the previous week against Birmingham City, but bounced back with a blistering display at Carrow Road.
Ex-Hamilton gaffer Neil said: “I should imagine Gary was disappointed his wasn’t playing last week and all credit to him for his response.

“He worked really hard, as the whole group did, and he got his reward.

“Gary took his first two goals really well and showed what a good finisher he is.

“We now need to get the maximum out of him week in, week out.”

Neil added: “We worked our socks off and got what we deserved – scoring four goals is always a good achievement regardless of the opposition while a clean sheet was also pleasing.

“Now we need to take this into the Charlton game on Tuesday where we will need to work just as hard, if not harder, to get a good result.”

Hooper, who cheered on the Hoops in their League Cup semi-final win at Hampden last Sunday, got the ball rolling in the 12th minute after racing on to a Jonny Howson through ball and coolly slotting home.

The hitman played a slick one-two with Wes Hoolahan to make it 2-0 midway through the first-half and completed his hat-trick from the spot after Peter Clarke had brought down Lewis Grabban.

Nathan Redmond notched the fourth when he curled in a brilliant free-kick from well outside the box.

Hooper was back in Glasgow last weekend with another former Celt, Joe Ledley, to enjoy Celtic’s first ever victory over The Rangers. Gary would have been especially pleased for his good friend Kris Commons who is now the only Celtic player to have scored for the club against both of the Ibrox clubs.
 
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