Hoolahan on target again as City hit top six

PUBLISHED: 10:39 12 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:35 10 September 2010

Wes Hoolahan celebrates wiyj a wave of his newly-acquired shinpad after the team forgot to pack any for their trip to Carlisle. Picture: Jed Wee

Wes Hoolahan celebrates wiyj a wave of his newly-acquired shinpad after the team forgot to pack any for their trip to Carlisle. Picture: Jed Wee

David Cuffley

Wes Hoolahan added another goal to his collection to push Norwich City further into the League One promotion race - then backed them to keep climbing. The Irishman tucked away his third goal in five league games - and his fifth of the season - to give Paul Lambert's men victory at Carlisle and a place in the top six for the first time this season.

Wes Hoolahan added another goal to his collection to push Norwich City further into the League One promotion race - then backed them to keep climbing.

The Irishman tucked away his third goal in five league games - and his fifth of the season - to give Paul Lambert's men victory at Carlisle and a place in the top six for the first time this season.

Hoolahan struck after 41 minutes at Brunton Park as the Canaries made it three league wins in a row for the first time in 20 months.

And the 27-year-old star forward believes it was a significant success.

He said: "It's a tough place to come and it was a long trip. It took us nine hours to get here and it's a great win.

"I believe we can go far, we've got a great squad - good lads. There is a great bunch of quality players so I hope we can keep on pushing up the table.

"I think all the lads have been doing really well. We've hit good form at the right time and now it's a case of pushing off and hoping we can stay in the play-offs."

Hoolahan will score more difficult goals but was in the right place at the right time to give City that crucial interval lead.

He said: "Chrissy Martin crossed it and I think it's gone under one or two of the Carlisle lads' legs. It just came to me and I slotted it in nicely.

"They came at us and it's expected when you come to Carlisle but the back four played well and the 'keeper made some saves and we defended brilliantly."

Lambert paid tribute to Hoolahan and five other City players who came back into the side after missing the Johnstone's Paint Trophy win at Gillingham with a variety of knocks.

He said: "Wes had a knock on his foot. That's why he missed the game the other night - as did a lot of them. And to come back in, they've not done much training and they had a long bus journey yesterday so it's a terrific three points.

"They were as fit as they could be. I don't think you are ever going to play the game 100 per cent fit, but I couldn't play them against Gillingham and today we took certain risks with some of them but they came through it fine."

Full-back Adam Drury, who arrived at the ground just 75 minutes before kick-off after being flown to Carlisle following the birth of his daughter, also praised Hoolahan's contribution to City's revival.

He said: "Wes has been in fantastic form and I think it makes a big difference when we can get him higher up the pitch so he can do his damage in their half."

If he does get caught on the ball, it's not going to affect us too much and that's what we've done over the last few games - his form has been fantastic as the whole team has."

The Canaries are next in action in seven days' time when they visit Leeds United - managed by Hoolahan's former Blackpool boss, Simon Grayson.

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