Hoolahan wows the boss
Chris Lakey Wes Hoolahan has been praised by Canaries boss Glenn Roeder for taking his axing from the City team "like a man" - and bouncing straight back into his plans.
Wes Hoolahan has been praised by Canaries boss Glenn Roeder for taking his axing from the City team "like a man" - and bouncing straight back into his plans.
Hoolahan was recalled to the starting line-up against Wolves on Tuesday after five games out and not even making the squad for the previous two, with the inevitable rumours circulating of a dressing room bust-up between player and manager.
But he made the most of his second chance in midweek - and Roeder admitted he would find it hard to leave the summer signing out when City face Doncaster at Carrow Road on Saturday.
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Roeder insisted that Hoolahan's recall was prompted by the player himself - not by City's run of three successive defeats going into the clash against Wolves.
"He had earned the right to play with the attitude he had shown at the training ground," said Roeder after seeing City crush the morning leaders 5-2.
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"You would have to say the break hasn't done him any harm judging by his performance.
"He wasn't playing well and it was getting him down, so he has come out of the team and he has got two options - he can be a sulky boy or he can be a man and he has decided to be a man - which is train properly, work hard, do extra training when the main session finishes and try and force himself upon me to try and put him back in the team and that's what he has done.
"I put him back in and he has had the sort of game that's he had for Blackpool where he was their main player."
Hoolahan was one of Roeder's top targets of the summer, after being impressed with the Dublin-born midfielder in two games against Blackpool last season.
The transition hasn't been easy for the 26-year-old and he was publicly rebuked by Roeder before the trip to Southampton at the end of September - but it appears the manager's words have done the trick, judging by his performance against Wolves.
"The one thing he could do at Blackpool was be influential in terms of creating chances, retaining the ball for you and he has done all those things tonight," said Roeder. "He has retained the ball for us. I have been on to him because he needs to play more one- and two-touch. 'You are a good player when you play one- and two-touch, Wes, you are not such a good player when you just dribble, dribble, dribble. Dribble, dribble, dribble is for players in other leagues, because the football of the highest quality isn't dribble, dribble, dribble, it's one touch, two touch, shifting the ball quickly, with occasionally, if the time is right, to dribble.
"And I thought he got the balance right - he played some good one- and two-touch and he dribbled when he had to and he showed a little bit of magic which the supporters enjoyed and I would think he has earned the right to stay in the team on Saturday."