Hoolahan happy to lend Holt a hand

Chris Lakey Wes Hoolahan did the decent thing on Saturday to help him and his partner-in-crime Grant Holt hit significant goal-scoring milestones. Hoolahan notched his 10th league goal of the season in the first half, getting ahead of City's leading scorer to convert Jon Otsemobor's cross.

Chris Lakey

Wes Hoolahan did the decent thing on Saturday to help him and his partner-in-crime Grant Holt hit significant goal-scoring milestones.

Hoolahan notched his 10th league goal of the season in the first half, getting ahead of City's leading scorer to convert Jon Otsemobor's cross.

"It was a great ball, a good move and Semmy just cut it back and I think Holty was going to take it, but I screamed at Holty to get out of the way and luckily he did," said Hoolahan.


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Having taken that opportunity out of Holt's hands, Hoolahan then turned provider as City's leading scorer made it 20 in all competitions in the 68th minute.

"Chrissy (Martin) give me the ball and I stopped," he said.

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"I was thinking about chipping the 'keeper, but I've just seen Holty in the corner of my eye and crossed it and Holty just finished it off well. Holty was in a better position and tucked it away quite nicely."

It's a partnership that is fast becoming the envy of opposition managers - and open that Hoolahan enjoys.

"I like playing with Grant," said Hoolahan.

"He is a clever player as well - his knockdowns and his heading and his passing.

Chrissy is the same as well, they are very clever players - a joy to play with.

"It's going well at the moment and hopefully we can keep it going.

"We were brilliant today, I thought.

"The defenders were excellent and Lapps (Simon Lappin) in midfield getting the ball and getting it to me and Holty getting his 20th goal of the season, so it all worked well at Christmas."

Hoolahan's total is 13, including cup games - but his festive season target has been achieved.

"I never set myself targets, I was always a left winger, but when I moved up to the hole I set a target of 10 by Christmas and I have it now so I'm happy with that," said Hoolahan.

The move away infield has benefited, and while Hoolahan says the right thing in insisting he will play anywhere he's asked, it will clearly take something major to happen before he returns to the left flank.

"Obviously if the manager has problems in that area I would play there, but I'm enjoying the role I have at the moment and just getting used to it," he said.

"I haven't really played that role and I'm enjoying it."

Once Hoolahan got into the game after Millwall's busy opening 20 minutes, there was only ever going to be one outcome

"They were good," he said.

"A physical team, they came here with a game plan and after 20 minutes I think we got back into the game and started creating a few chances.

"I think the first 20, 25 minutes they (teams) are at us straight away and after that the game opens up and we take over."

Victory puts City two points behind second-placed Charlton, who salvaged a 2-2 draw at home to Swindon on Saturday with an injury-time goal.

But a City win at Walsall coupled with defeat for Charlton at Brentford would see the Canaries finish the year in an automatic promotion place.

"It would be very important going into the new year and being second and hopefully going on to catch Leeds," said Hoolahan.

"Charlton levelled in the 90th minute but we're two points behind them and hopefully we can go second on Monday.

"If Charlton drop points and if we win that's a bonus and Charlton had two men sent off so hopefully they will be missing for a few games.

"Walsall are a good team and it is going to be a tough place to go.

"They didn't play so they have a week off and will be fresh, but we go there with confidence."

While manager Paul Lambert has transformed the way Hoolahan performs for Norwich, Holt is simply doing what he was brought in to do - score goals.

Having picked up the Golden Boot in League Two last season for his exploits with Shrewsbury Town, the club's biggest summer signing is joint third leading scorer in the league - and leading scorer overall in the country.

"You always set targets, but to get 20 is a good return for the season and to get that now is fantastic," said the City captain.

"But it's not about me, it's about the team and we have just got to keep winning games and I'm happy with everything, the way it's going at the moment.

"The team's performing well and it's a great club to be at," the centre forward added.

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