A big man to fill some small shoes

PUBLISHED: 10:28 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 10 September 2010

Wes Hoolahan faces his former team. Picture: Paul Hewitt

Wes Hoolahan faces his former team. Picture: Paul Hewitt

Ben Burgess has an eight-inch height advantage and a conservative four and a half stones weight advantage over Wes Hoolahan - but when it comes to taking penalties there's not much between them.

Ben Burgess has an eight-inch height advantage and a conservative four and a half stones weight advantage over Wes Hoolahan - but when it comes to taking penalties there's not much between them.

Hoolahan was Blackpool's spot-kick specialist last season before moving to Carrow Road - so when Blackpool were awarded a penalty on Saturday, there wasn't exactly a queue of volunteers in orange shirts.

Burgess it was - and despite David Marshall going the right way, the big striker buried it into the bottom left-hand corner, although he may looks for some more constructive help next time.

“There weren't too many people rushing to take the penalty,” he explained. “Normally Wes took them so I decided I'd take it. Their centre-half said: 'Our goalie knows where you're going to put it', and then Fletch (Gary Taylor-Fletcher) shouted: 'I think they know where you're going to put it, Ben', which didn't help.

“I was just glad it went in. I've taken penalties at my previous clubs and I've only missed one in about 10.”

Burgess was a major influence on the game as far as the visitors were concerned - but he's just grateful to be given a run.

“Just to be playing is great. This time last season I wasn't being picked,” he said. “I started about 23 times last season so I want more games this time. There is more competition - the gaffer has brought in 13 new players - so it will keep everyone on their toes.

“The club is aiming to finish higher and I want to be better - more games and more goals. I got 10 last season and was top scorer so it's good to get off the mark this early.

“It was horrible after they equalised. They threw everything at us. I think we need to be braver in that situation and not just go into our shells thinking, 'let's just take the point'. We need to keep playing. But Norwich are a good side - they have spent some money and have some good players - so it's a good point for us.

“We didn't have any special plans for Wes, like man-marking him. The gaffer told us beforehand, 'you know what he can do' and that was enough. You don't dive in on him or he just slips past you and comes back and does it again. The Norwich fans will love watching him - he's a brilliant signing for them.”

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