Hoolahan - We will keep feet on the ground
Star forward Wes Hoolahan echoed his manager’s words of caution as Norwich City moved into fourth in the Championship with victory at Preston.
The three points secured by skipper Grant Holt’s second-half winner at Deepdale moved the Canaries up five places in the table and gave 1,600 travelling fans a grand day out.
But with just seven league games gone, Hoolahan warned against expecting too much too soon from Paul Lambert’s newly promoted squad.
“It’s a bit early to be talking about the play-offs or a top two finish, but we’ve started well and I hope we’ll continue it,” he said. “The boys are level headed and professional, we just keep our minds on the game.”
The 28-year-old experienced Championship football with Preston’s near neighbours, Blackpool, and Norwich, without ever threatening the business end of the table. It could change if City maintain their promising start.
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He said: “My impression is all teams are very strong, very quick. It’s a tough league, and anybody can beat anybody on their day. We’ve played seven games, we’ve won four of them. If you win half your games, you have a chance.
“It’s a great position to be in. We’re up there and I hope we continue to be. We have a home game against Hull next week, then another on Tuesday so we’re looking to build on our performance today.”
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Hoolahan and Korey Smith set up City’s winner and the Irishman welcomed Holt’s first goal in six matches.
He said: “It was a great performance all-round. We passed the ball well and created a lot of chances. In the first half we thought we should have gone in two or three up but it wasn’t the case. Then Grant got a great goal to win the game.
“It was a great cut-back by Korey and a great finish, and it was good to see him back among the goals.
“At half-time the gaffer said ‘Don’t worry, the goal will come’. It was a great move and he stuck it away nicely. After getting beaten 3-1 at Doncaster on Tuesday it was good to bounce back and get a win.
“We’ve been playing quite well away from home – probably at Doncaster in the first half we didn’t really play that well – but all our other games we played really well and today we bossed the game and created a lot of chances.”
Hoolahan’s form over the past year has gone unrewarded at international level, but he has not given up hope of adding to his one Republic of Ireland cap. A home Euro 2012 qualifier with Russia on October 8 is next up.
“There’s an international in two weeks and I’m playing well and would like to be involved. I’ll just aim to keep playing well for Norwich and hopefully it will come,” he said.