'Wes loves playing' - City icon inspiring promotion push at Cambridge

Cambridge United's Wes Hoolahan (centre) controls the ball during the Sky Bet League Two match at Th

Wes Hoolahan in League Two action for Cambridge United earlier this month - Credit: PA

Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan is still 'fit as a fiddle' as he rolls back the years with his latest 'outstanding' performance for League Two leaders Cambridge United.

The 38-year-old former Republic of Ireland international played a starring role as the U's won 3-1 at home against play-off chasing Crawley on Saturday, to stay three points clear at the top of the table.

Hoolahan claimed his sixth assist of the season as his free-kick was flicked in by Joe Ironside early on, with a brilliant strike from Kyle Knoyle reclaiming the lead for the hosts just before the break.  

Cambridge boss Mark Bonner resisted the urge to take Hoolahan off during a competitive second half though, as the Abbey Stadium pitch started to resemble a quagmire, and was rewarded with the Irishman tucking home his fourth goal of the season in the 85th minute when he rolled under the keeper from just inside the area.

"Wes loves playing and he's as fit as a fiddle," Bonner told the Sun on Sunday after the victory. "He's scoring goals late in games, he's scoring goals right at the end of games - he's outstanding.

"We have to manage him through the week, we don't see him very often in the early part of it. But the performances he's given us this month, in conditions he's probably not used to from his Premier League and Championship days, sums him up.

"He's a really energetic person and a really humble guy. He just gets on with it, and that's good leadership and a good role model for the rest of our players. It's a massive three points."  

It was a 19th appearance of the season for the veteran playmaker, who still lives in Norfolk after 54 goals in 352 games for the Canaries between 2008 and 2018 - earning a Carrow Road testimonial legends game alongside Russell Martin for good causes in 2019.

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The former Livingston and Blackpool midfielder had been released in 2018 and spent 2018-19 on the fringes of West Brom's unsuccessful Championship promotion push.

He headed to Australia for 2019-20 but an ankle injury restricted him to just six appearances for Newcastle Jets so he returned to England and signed a one-year deal with Cambridge.


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