Wes Hoolahan was Norwich’s creator-in-chief. No surprise in that for anyone who has sat back and admired the Irishman at work during City’s fall and then steep rise over the past three seasons.

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But Hoolahan has had to bide his time in the Premier League this campaign. A 13-minute cameo at the end of a losing cause against Fulham is no platform to showcase his undoubted skills.

Chris Hughton’s faith was repaid with a bright first top flight start of the season against the Magpies. The attacking midfielder operated just off Steve Morison; freed from the defensive shackles and given the freedom to roam across Newcastle’s backline.

His first contribution was nearly his most telling. A glancing close range header five minutes in that brushed Steven Taylor. Then later in the half, he drifted wide to first trigger a counter and deliver a riposte when it momentarily faltered – picking out Robert Snodgrass who was only denied by Mike Williamson.

His superb pivot and pass in one motion after the interval should have earned him an assist to Andrew Surman’s leveller. Steve Harper’s smothering stop foiled the midfielder.

Hoolahan tried his luck again to pick out Javier Garrido who almost freed Snodgrass. Whenever Norwich threatened, Hoolahan’s influence was at the epicentre.

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