Wes Hoolahan has revealed he wants to stay put in Norfolk after playing a major role in yesterday’s dramatic 2-2 draw with league leaders Charlton.
The Irishman not only scored the first with a neat left-foot finish near the end of the first-half but he was at the heart of the Canaries’ best attacking moments after being deployed in a role behind Grant Holt.
After missing out on inclusion in the last few games, it was a surprise to see the former Blackpool man – linked with a move to Swansea before deadline day – back in.
But he certainly justified his inclusion and he also picked up the man-of-the-match award for his efforts – not a bad way to return to the starting line-up.
And while he conceded he was frustrated to be left on the sidelines, Hoolahan admits he’s happy to stay at Carrow Road and fight for his place.
“I haven’t heard anything [about a move],” he told the press after the game. “It’s been disappointing but I’ve got to work hard on my game and it was just great to play today.
“It hurts when you’re not in the team. I love playing football and it’s great to be playing again. Obviously I haven’t been playing the last few games but I played today and I’m just happy about that. I want to stay, I like it here.”
The mercurial talent, who had the Charlton defence in knots at times, was certainly impressed with the way City dragged themselves out of the mire and he agreed with Paul Lambert – a point was the bare minimum they deserved.
He clearly enjoyed his partnership with Grant Holt too…
“I thought the lads played brilliantly,” he continued. “After being 2-0 down we showed great character and determination to get the two goals back.
“It was a great throw-in by Holty for my goal and it showed some quick thinking. I was just really happy it hit the back of the net.
“I just wanted to make sure it went in. Holty had a chance before that but luckily enough I put it away and then he got the equaliser at the end.
“Holty’s a great player. He’s strong, he’s got a great touch and it’s a pleasure to play with him. And it was a perfectly good goal he got at the end. He’s got up there ahead of the ‘keeper and nodded it in.”
And what did he think of his new position? The 27-year-old seems to cause the most damage when he’s in the thick of it, instead of hugging the touchline. If you’ve got the skill, flaunt it.
“It depends on the game to be honest. I’m just happy to play anywhere but it worked today,” added Hoolahan, clearly delighted to be back in business.
“I saw a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances. But it took me a bit of time to get into it and I gradually worked my way in. It was good.”
Pegging the unbeaten Addicks back will show the rest of League One that the Canaries are back on the right track after a topsy-turvy start to their League One campaign.
After all, we’ve only had eight games. There are plenty more twists and turns to come before we start talking about promotion candidates.
“The result shows we can cope in this league and hopefully we can get up there now and push for the play-offs and promotion.”
As for his relationship with Lambert, there doesn’t seem to be any issue. The City boss has long said that Hoolahan remained part of his plans.
And the Irishman only had good words to say about his new gaffer. While Hoolahan isn’t entirely comfortable in front of the camera or microphone, you could see the sincerity in his eyes.
He wants to play for Norwich City – under Lambert. “You can play if you work hard enough, his tactics are spot on and it’s a pleasure to play for him.”