Wes Hoolahan enjoying his senior Norwich City role – and training on the day of a game
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Wes Hoolahan has extra responsibility – and the Norwich City hero is enjoying it.
Despite a rather curtailed pre-season, the Republic of Ireland international has returned with a bang – helping City to equalise at Fulham on the opening day before sealing cup progress over Swindon in midweek.
“I missed two and a half weeks of pre-season, and had three weeks off in the summer – so I think I maybe came back a bit too early and felt my thigh, but the last two or three weeks I’ve been getting myself back fit and I’ve been enjoying it,” said Hoolahan.
“Every day is enjoyable going into training. A lot of sessions, a lot of possession and all the boys are enjoying it.
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“It’s completely different. On Tuesday we were training before the Swindon game, and I haven’t done that in my career. So it’s interesting to do and we found it quite a bit of a loosener. So it’s definitely a different regime and a different stucture, and I think all the boys are enjoying it.
“It’s the first time I feel like I’m kind of a senior player. We had a lot of senior players here last year, but now it’s basically me, Russ (Martin), Cam (Jerome) and (Alex) Tettey around the dressing room – and it’s great to be involved like that.”
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The senior professionals will have a few younger team-mates they will look to mentor this season and while James Maddison has already shown significant glimpses of what he could do this season, goalkeeper Angus Gunn has caught Hoolahan’s eye.
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And that is eye-catching in itself, given Gunn was watching from the stands as a 12-year-old City fan as Hoolahan first pulled on a Norwich shirt.
“Angus is brilliant,” added Hoolahan. “He’s up there with – I’ve played with Joe Hart (Blackpool loan), Fraser Forster and obviously John (Ruddy) here, and he’s definitely up there.
“The two saves he made at the end on Tuesday were incredible and for someone who is so young and hasn’t that much experience playing in the Championship, it shows he has a good level head on him.
“With James, hopefully we can work well together because playing with James, he finds passes, he’s comfortable on the ball, he’s got great awareness and it’s enjoyable to play with him.”
The next few days promises some resolution over the current Nelson Oliveira situation following his brash celebrations at Craven Cottage – and subsequent absence in midweek.
Hoolahan added: “Nelson is disappointed he hadn’t played, but we move on and talk about the results. The goal he got on Saturday was brilliant and helped the team out, but we’ll move on and see what happens.
“Obviously the togetherness is always very important in the dressing room and the togetherness in our dressing room at the moment is brilliant. It’s one of the best.
“Everyone is enjoying each other, we’re playing great football and it’s an enjoyable time at the moment at Carrow Road.”