Wes Hoolahan's ugly warning
Chris Lakey Wes Hoolahan has warned fans that it could get ugly if the Canaries keep up their current run of form.The midfield playmaker has found himself targeted by opponents keen to snuff out City's biggest creative threat.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Wes Hoolahan has warned fans that it could get ugly if the Canaries keep up their current run of form.
The midfield playmaker has found himself targeted by opponents keen to snuff out City's biggest creative threat.
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Hoolahan escaped Tranmere's shackles on Saturday to score a penalty, create the second goal for Gary Doherty and lay other chances on a plate.
But the Irishman says the price of success will be “gritty” performances, rather than the stellar Carrow Road shows which consigned Leyton Orient and Bristol Rovers to heavy beatings.
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“You settle for that - you are not going to play pretty every game and get three or four goals,” said Hoolahan.
“You are going to have to grind it out and luckily enough we got the goals and it's three points at the end of the day, that's the main thing, it keeps us up there.”
Tranmere were the perfect example of what City could expect as teams pull down the shutters in front of City's fans.
“It was difficult in the first half,” he said. “I think they came here with a game plan and they did well and you could see the second half we were getting more into it.
“I think they were getting tired and a few of the boys were getting cramps on the other team - obviously they were working themselves very hard in the first half and we have just got to keep playing and playing and grinding them down and we eventually will get the goal.”
Hoolahan's penalty took his tally this season to eight - two short of his totals for 2006-07 when he helped Blackpool to promotion from League One.
He left Carrow Road quickly so he could watch the Republic of Ireland's World Cup play-off against France, who won 1-0, leaving his colleagues a mountain to climb in the second leg tomorrow .
Hoolahan's form raises questions about his own international ambitions - but he insists that Norwich comes first.
“Obviously you think about things like - but I have to keep playing well for Norwich and putting in good performances and you never know, next year,” said the 27-year-old, who won his only cap when he came on as a sub against Colombia at Craven Cottage in May, last year.
“Just keep doing well with Norwich, playing well and getting us up hopefully back in the Championship where we belong and you never know what happens after that.”