City forward Wes Hoolahan admitted that the Canaries go into tomorrow’s League One clash at Walsall with second place in their sights.
The Irishman was the standout performer in Boxing Day’s excellent 2-0 win over a lively Milwall outfit, scoring one and making another.
And with Charlton dropping points at home to Swindon, the Banks’s Stadium encounter represents a chance for Paul Lambert’s men to enter the top two for the first time this season.
“It would be very important to go into the New Year in second place trying to catch Leeds,” said Hoolahan, a man in the form of his Canary life.
“Charlton got a 90th minute equaliser but we’re only two points behind them and hopefully we can go second on Monday.
“Walsall is a tough place to go and they didn’t play this weekend so they’ll be fresh but we’re going there with confidence. Charlton have a tough away game at Brentford so you never know.”
After another majestic performance – one which had Lions boss Kenny Jackett labelling him the best player in League One – the former Blackpool star sported a big grin, clearly enjoying his football in Norfolk more than ever.
“It’s going well at the moment; hopefully we can keep it going. I thought we were brilliant from the defence to Lapps [Simon Lappin] in midfield and Holty [Grant Holt] getting his 20 goals. It all worked out well.
“Millwall are a good side, they’re a physical team. But after about 20 minutes we got back into the game and started creating a few chances.
“In the first 15-20 minutes they were at us straight away and after that the game opens up and we take over.”
Hoolahan’s sublime cross for Holt to nod home City’s second really was something special and as Lambert admitted afterwards, he was unplayable at times, ghosting past players as if they weren’t there.
It looked as if the 27-year-old would try and chip the ‘keeper when released by Chrissy Martin on the edge of the box, but his extraordinary vision found the 20-goal Canary captain and it was game, set and match.
“Chrissy gave me the ball and I stopped to think about chipping the ‘keeper but I saw Holty in the corner of my eye and he finished it off well,” he continued.
“I was thinking about chipping him but Holty was in a better position and he tucked it away.
“I like playing with him; he’s a clever player with his knockdowns, his heading and his passing. Chrissy is the same and they are very clever players – it’s a joy to play with them.”
With 13 goals already from an advanced midfield position, Canary chief Lambert has found the perfect home for Hoolahan.
And with the Irishman already well past one milestone, not many people will be betting against him notching up 20-25 goals in 2009-10 – a Frank Lampard-esque achievement.
“I don’t usually set myself targets; I used to be a left-winger. But when I moved into the hole behind the strikers I wanted to get 10 by Christmas and I’ve got it so I’m happy with that.
“I’m enjoying the role I have at the moment. I haven’t really played it before but I’m definitely enjoying it.”