December 22 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich City made life hard for themselves before edging past Wigan 2-1 at Carrow Road to move into the Premier League’s top eight.
Wes Hoolahan celebrated pre-match news of his new contract with a match-winning second half header after his assist had set up Anthony Pilkington to open the scoring in the first period before Shaun Maloney drew the Latics level shortly after the break.
Wigna keeper Ali Al Habsi proved a defiant barrier for the Canaries, but Hughton praised his side’s staying power after extending their unbeaten Premier League run to ten matches.
“I was certainly concerned after a first half when I thought we had played really well and should have been more than 1-0 up at half-time with the chances we had,” said Hughton. “Then when they score you are worried the flow of the game may go in their favour. You don’t want them to get back into the game, you want us to try and get a grip of the game again and maybe that doesn’t mean creating as many chances. You know the game will open up then. I thought we made a little bit harder work for ourselves but over the 90 minutes we thoroughly deserved it.”
Hughton acknowledged the official news that Hoolahan had pledged his future to the Canaries until 2015 capped off a perfect day.
“He has earned it,” said Hughton. “And the only way you do that is by performing well enough and Wes has certainly done that. I am probably more pleased for Wes than anyone else. It was not so much a question of his future or leaving here. He certainly never showed any desire to leave here. It was all about getting a longer deal for himself and we’re delighted with that.”
Hoolahan’s contract extension will now keep him in Norfolk for seven years after his original move south back in June 2008.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here, my family love it here and it’s great to pencil it down and I’m just looking forward to the rest of the season now,” he told he club’s official site. “I don’t feel like one of the longest serving players here. The last couple of years have been great coming up from League One all the way up to the Premier league and doing so well last year. We’re doing even better this season and hopefully we can keep that run going. The last few months I’ve been playing and it’s just great to be involved with the lads. We’ve got some top quality players here and I’m really enjoying it.”
Chris Hughton recognised the value of denying Sunderland a priceless three Premier League points after a second consecutive away clean sheet on the road in a goalless affair at the Stadium of Light.