Huddersfield boss and former City No2 Lee Clark singled out Wes Hoolahan as “the most technically gifted player” in League One after his second half show put the Canaries on the road to three, massive points on Saturday.
To be fair, Town bossed the first period and after Chris Martin missed an absolute sitter on 52 minutes, you wondered whether it was going to be ‘one of those days’.
But as soon as the Irishman grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with his solo effort just five minutes later, there was only ever going to be one winner.
And Clark had warned his charges about the Hoolahan threat. It’s just a shame for Town fans that they gave him all the time in the world to do his damage.
“We got dispossessed in the middle of the park by the most technically gifted player in the league in Wes Hoolahan,” said an animated Terriers chief afterwards.
“If he’s running at your back four you’ve got a severe problem. I know Wes well and I spoke to the players about him this week but there are lots of good players at Norwich.”
The Toon legend, City’s assistant manager under Glenn Roeder only just over a year ago, admitted that the Terriers had missed a trick after dominating proceedings in the first half.
And with the crowd getting edgy, Town could sniff blood. But up stepped tormentor-in-chief Hoolahan, and the rest is history.
“The crowd were getting a bit twitchy; they could see we were playing well. Norwich weren’t as fluent as they have been but then it goes to 1-0 and they get some confidence.
“They then started to lift their game and we can’t keep giving goals away like that against quality like Norwich. They don’t give you the chance to come back.
“We’re 1-0 down and then we’re 2-0 down. Towards the end you’re think ‘are they going to get another one’.
“We were two different teams out there today – the one in the first half was the Huddersfield I like, the one in the second half was the team I don’t like.
“I thought we dominated the first half but just didn’t convert our chances. Norwich were the better team after the break and scored three goals. That sums the game up in a nutshell.
“When you’re on top you have to score goals – we didn’t and Norwich did. Goals change matches; it’s a simple game.”
Despite getting a small amount of grief from the City faithful – including one cry of ‘are you Roeder in disguise!’ – Clark only had good words to say about his former club after the 3-0 defeat, admitting they will be in the promotion shake-up come May.
But if the west Yorrkshire club can start converting some of their possession into goals, then they look a good bet for the play-offs – especially if Town improve their fortunes on the road.
“Norwich will be there or thereabouts. They have a Premiership facility and Paul [Lambert] has come in and done a great job, but we more than matched them.
“Then we gave two diabolical goals away and we’re up against it. If it was 0-0 further down the line their fans would get a little bit twitchy, which they were at half-time.
“We are not going to have this occasion as often as we want if we don’t stop giving silly goals away. We have to stop conceding poor goals – full stop. We have to keep working with them in training.
“The players are very downbeat and we have a long journey home, but we have to lift quickly because we have a tough game on Boxing Day at Carlisle. We have to start winning matches away from home if we have any prospects of getting out of this league – it’s as simple as that.”
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