The 24-year-old striker became the club's record signing in the close-season but has scored just once - in the 2-2 draw with Everton on the opening day of the Premier League campaign.
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Hughton feels that game time is vital for the former Sporting Lisbon man as he attempts to return to goalscoring ways, and has backed the forward to begin showing why the club parted with so much money to sign him.
"Ricky is someone used to scoring goals and that was an outstanding save (from Stockdale) because from the angle I was we thought it was in," Hughton said.
"It didn't happen for him in front of goal and maybe there were one or two occasions when he could have got across the keeper but it was really important for him to get 90 minutes under his belt.
"We know he has missed some three months, which is a fair time to be out and it is disappointing for him after such a good start with a fine goal on the first day."