Norwich City Boss Explains Substitution Decision During QPR Draw

Norwich City failed to move level on points with sixth-place Coventry City in the Championship following a 2-2 draw with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon.

The Canaries fell behind during the game with a goal from Jack Colback before the half-hour mark and went in at the break 1-0 down. However, David Wagner’s side came out firing after the interval, equalising within three minutes of the restart through club captain Kenny McLean before taking the lead fourteen minutes later thanks to a Josh Sargent strike.

This was Sargent’s seventh goal of the season for Norwich City and his second since returning to the team back in January, having spent the majority of the campaign sidelined with a long-term injury sustained in August against Huddersfield Town.

Furthermore, the American getting back to form will certainly please head coach Wagner, particularly since Adam Idah moved to Scottish giants Celtic on loan. However, to offset the loss of the Irishman, the East Anglian club also confirmed the signing of Sydney van Hooijdonk on deadline day on loan from Bologna until the end of the season.

The Dutch striker has yet to make his debut for the Canaries and was an unused substitute on Saturday in London. Nevertheless, Wagner revealed the reason why the 23-year-old didn’t come on despite Norwich conceding late on to tie the game at 2-2 [quotes via Pink Un]:

“To be fair because of Borja [Sainz]’s yellow card we felt it was important to finish 11 against 11 if you’d like to have a chance.

“Onel [Hernandez] is a top impact player as we’ve seen. So (van Hooidjonk) this was not really in consideration. Barnsey [Ashley Barnes], I think, was a threat in the link-up and obviously in front of goal as well,” he continued.

“This is why this was not really in consideration for this game. Obviously, with [Sargent] he struggled last week and he only trained [on Friday] so it was clear he could only play roughly 60 minutes if we like to start him on Tuesday again.”

Writer’s View

Van Hooijdonk has the potential to be a special player for Norwich City from now until the end of the season. While he may not have hit the ground running in Italy, the young striker still scored 16 goals in 33 appearances for Heerenveen last season in the Eredivisie.

In fact, an argument could even be made that van Hooijdonk has a higher ceiling than Idah. The Dutchman has proven himself to be a prolific goalscorer in his career so far and may be the difference-maker for Wagner by the end of the campaign.

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