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HUGHTON - 'WES DESERVES CONTRACT'

15 December 2012

Boss praises match-winning Hoolahan

CITY Manager Chris Hughton has hailed midfielder Wes Hoolahan’s match-winning display in Saturday’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road.

Hoolahan’s second half header put City back in front after Shaun Maloney had cancelled out Anthony Pilkington’s brilliant opener to fire the Canaries up to seventh in the table.

It capped off an incredible night for the Republic of Ireland international, who before the match put pen-to-paper on a new deal keeping him at Carrow Road until 2015.

Hughton told Canaries Player: “Wes thoroughly deserves his contract. Contracts should be earned, and he has earned his - not only for what he has done this season, but also previous seasons. 

“We’re really delighted for him and he deserves it. He’s an important player and he’s part of a squad and a group that are pushing to either keep their position or get into the team, and competition is really good.

“Anthony Pilkington too is in good goal-scoring form, and he should be, he’s got that type of ability and for somebody like him that gives us a good all-round balance to the team, he should be getting goals.”

The result sees the Canaries a fantastic ten points clear of Wigan in the last of the relegation places, and the significance of the win was not last on the Manager.

He said: “They are all really big wins, and after midweek we were disappointed, but we spoke about bouncing back.

“We’re now back to business and you have to treat every game exactly the same because of the quality of this league, and it’s a big win for us.

“It just goes to show you what can happen if you put a good run together. It gives players that little bit of belief that anything is achievable

“The run has been based on the belief that we have to fight and scrap in every game. I think where we’re fortunate at the minute is that we’re getting results with it. 

“These types of games can easily go against you because you’re up against such quality teams, and at 1-1 they might have got the goal. 

“At half time we should have been more than the 1-0 up on the balance of play and the chances. It’s difficult against a good team like Wigan who pass the ball well, but we’d have certainly been kicking ourselves if we’d ended up drawing the game.”

Skipper Grant Holt left the field of play late on with what looked like an injury, but Hughton revealed that the extent of it is not yet known.

“He has felt his hamstring slightly,” said Hughton. “We don’t think it’s a big one, but we won’t know for a couple of days. 

“It’s a concern and it’s a bad time, but we don’t really know. Hopefully he’ll be okay, but if not the competition in the squad and the team continues.”


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