Wes Hoolahan can be Neil Adams’ Norwich City talisman

Wes Hoolahan can be a match-winner for Norwich City over the Premier League run-in. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Wes Hoolahan can be a match-winner for Norwich City over the Premier League run-in. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Friday, April 11, 2014
8:30 AM

Neil Adams would have no issue placing his trust in Wes Hoolahan to help fire Norwich City to Premier League safety over the run-in.

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Hoolahan found himself operating on the left of midfield in the final games of Chris Hughton’s tenure with limited success, but Adams is well aware the mercurial Irishman can make a difference.

“I have seen Wes play in a number of positions, left-side, in the hole as a number 10, and Wes is an attacking player,” said the new City chief. “He is someone who can get on the ball and get on the turn. What I like is players who can receive the ball into feet and they are looking to play it forward, to get in and hurt the opposition. That is Wes’ natural game. I have seen many, many games, even going back to his time at Blackpool, so we all know what Wes can do and what he can’t do. “He is a fantastic player and if he is on the pitch and gets enough of the ball then on his day he can win you a game. It is about the philosophy underpinning how you go about things and it doesn’t matter whether you are playing home or away.”

Adams plans to reveal his plans to the players prior to departing for London.

“I’ll pick a team I feel can win a game, that is how I have always worked as a coach,” he said. “We have looked at Fulham and we will have a system that gives us the best chance to do that and we will be ready if we need to change things at half-time or during a game.

“In terms of changing the line-up it is up to the players to force their way in. I have a team in mind and we have changed things about a bit in training and I will probably name the team on Friday just before we travel down to the game. The vast majority of the players are fit. We just have to check on one or two, but we have worked well and the players will be ready. They have been responsive to what I have asked of them.”

Leroy Fer has returned to training this week but Adams will take no risks with the Dutch international’s fitness for the trip to Fulham whilst Seb Bassong and Ryan Bennett have both been nursing knocks.

“Leroy has been out there training but it might be a little bit too soon for him this game,” said Adams. “He is one who has been out for a bit with his hamstring but we have rested him at the right times and pushed him at others. He is one we have a decision to make. He’s an excellent player and the more players we’ve got fit the better.”

Elliott Bennett will step up his comeback from knee ligament surgery with a second development outing in Friday’s home game against Bolton’s Under-21s.

“He got 70 minutes at Anfield and that was his first game back from an ACL injury, which is one of the worst injuries you can get. He needs games now,” said Adams. “I have spoken to him and he is a fantastic young man who desperately wants to play football. That is exactly the type of attitude we want, but 65 minutes in an under-21 game is not enough. Hopefully he gets 90 minutes and we take it from there.”

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31 comments

  • I always got the impression that Hughton thought that being Manager at a "small" club like Norwich was a bit beneath him. He believed that Norwich were lucky to have his experience and stature and that it was all a little "small beer" for him. This in turn rubbed off on some of the players who also appeared arrogant and also believed they were a whole lot better than in fact they are. Contrast that attitude with Neil Adams, what a breath of fresh air.

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    kenfoggo

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Agree entirely about the upbeat tone of NA's comments, MB. A positive attitude from the manager, confident ideas and praise for the abilities and attitude of the players is already in marked contrast to his predecessor. This can only bode well!

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    la barbe

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • How refreshing it is to hear the new Manager say he likes players looking to play it forward, get in and hurt the opposition.Paul Nevin also saying "we don't want to maintain possession just for the sake of it.We want there to be a purpose to our play ".A bit different from the Rorkes Drift approach of the last incumbent.

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    irongloves

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • TK, it`s normal for The Padster to use headlines like that, only for the article to be a non sequitur. Neil adams probably said equally complimentary things about other players, but The Padster is after the populist market! I wasn`t going to do any `Paddy-bashing`, but you provoked me, Trevor! ;-) Btw, MancCanary, I liked your comment about Neil `bigging-up` the players, quickly followed by `probably aren`t the most talented bunch in the league`. You rascal. such irony. OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Ditto Jim Bob.

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    alan

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Love the upbeat comments, if all that transfers to the players on the pitch I will be very optimistic for safety. OTBC.

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    Cornwall Canary

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • If Neil select Wes ( and i think that he will ) he will play him in his correct position in the hole behind the striker and if Neil substitutes him he will shake his hand when he comes off unlike last week when the manager turned his back on him.

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    leslie cater

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • kenfoggo- Make no mistake Norwich is NOT A SMALL CLUB. And we don't take kindly to be described as such!

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    norwichlad23

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • The big difference in the approach to the game is that Neil Adams has bigged up his players and for a change the opposition have barely had a mention, he certainly is not bigging Fulham up! Very positive attitude to a very winnable game.

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    blackdog2

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I too like what is being said by the manager but I am not so keen on the headline of this article. Let the manager decide who he is going to play and in what formation, we all know what Wes can and cannot offer but there is no getting away from the fact that he had a very poor game last Saturday on the left wing and was rightly substituted at half time.

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I completely agree JimBob. I couldn't see anything else other than certain relegation and terrible football up until only a week ago. I watched all of the Youth FA Cup winning run and I liked the attacking style of play. Hopefully NA can resurrect that style that once excited and entertained Carrow Road during the Lambert era. And more importantly a style which won us games! I now fully believe we can pull it out of the bag and prove the doubters wrong. Lets get behind the lads and make sure we're still in this league next season!

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    Canarylem

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I also like what I am reading. Neil Adams has, in a few days, made more sensible and positive statements than Hughton did in all his 20 months! Like a breath of fresh air. Win, draw or lose tomorrow I think we can all assume Neil will get the maximum out of his team both in terms of set-up and commitment. He is clearly also able to read the game in progress (something Hughton never achieved) and make adjustments as the game progresses and if required. You can't ask more than that. Good on you Neil!

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    malaga flier

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • A quote to instantly sum up the difference between Adams and Hughton: "What I like is players who can receive the ball into feet and they are looking to play it forward, to get in and hurt the opposition".

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    DT

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Liking the new noises, more common sense than cliché. It is a few years since we heard anything like that.

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    Swiss Canary

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I don`t know if I `buy` that notion, kenfoggo. Though, Hughton`s `umble demeanour could have hidden an over-weening Uriah Heep-esque personality, I suppose? He was certainly good at talking down his players, so it is paradoxical that they may have become `arrogant`. Neil Adams is certainly a breath of fresh air.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Playing it clever...literally taking everything Hughton said and done and saying and doing the entire opposite. He knows what he's doing to get us on board, and I, for one, have entirely fallen for it. It's worked a blinking treat! I'm actually nervous and excited about a game for the first time since the opening day of the season.

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    JimBob

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • All good comments today! I really do think we will surprise a lot of people Saturday and score an absolute hat full. Come on you yellows.

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    alan

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I agree with much that has been said. Neil Adams is being positive and saying the right things, let's hope that he can get things right on the pitch as well and that the players respond to his changes better than how they did under Hughton. He is going to need a lot of luck as well because our confidence will still be fragile. Putney, one thing I would add is that many fans have had similar complaints to ours this season. I listen to 606 a lot and the Spurs fans under AVB and the West Brom fans under Clarke were saying similar things about negative tactics and wingers etc.

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    Preston Canary

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Agree with Brew on that (it does sometimes happen(!)). I don't think CH ever saw Norwich was beneath him (remember, he came from Birmingham afterall). I think, in time, CHs tenure (particularly if we manage to stay up this season) will end up being viewed as an impossible job done at about par. Was always going to be difficult to replace a popular manager who achieved so much and left on their own terms. (I think always easier to replace a sacked manager - as that means something was already wrong). PL clearly thought it couldn't take City forward in the same way he hoped he could at Villa...so CH came in to a club that had been on a strong upward curve and, due to that (and in my view) unrealistic expectations of doing better than simply battling relegation for the next few seasons. Expectations have now been reduced for Adams (making his task a little easier with the fans). That said, I completely understand fans frustration with CH press conferences - and parallels with how they played in games. Interesting that the Man U fans have very similar issues right now with Moyes (i.e. seeming not to understand the history of the way that United play and needing to be attacking, not underdogs). Moyes not a bad manager, just maybe not right for Utd. I'd say the same probably applies for CH.

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    PutneyCanary

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Love the positive vibes from Neil, I am still on such a high from Hughtons demise that I can hardly sleep, I too keep dreaming of 6-0 wins at the Craven Cottage. Such a change from Mr Hegative , OTBC

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    Canaryinslovenia

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • i for one does not want Wes to play, he loses the ball to much which then put to much pressure on the midfield and defence. We need to go forwards not back

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    canarybell

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • All positive sounding stuff ! Carry it through onto the pitch and we will give Fulham a hard game.

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    kenfoggo

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • There`s a thing, PutneyCan! We`re on the same side of the bridge for once. This could be positive karma. I had a dream last night, and we beat Fulham 7-1. Unfortunately, I then woke up. Nevertheless, today I placed a (very) small bet on that outcome. After all, little ol` Colchester once did it to Gunny`s mighty Norwich. I imagine you`ll be traversing the Thames to Craven Cottage? I have a good feeling about this. I hope I feel the same way when I wake up! OTBC. etc.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I am loving the positivity being shown by Neil Adams. The draw back for me is that I really don't think he realises what he is going to come up against in terms of opposition. We have got some very good players and he knows that but every team in this league has got some good players.So whilst i like the fact that he is being positive and sounding positive i just wonder if he knows how to use his staff who go and watch the opposition before we play them because i dont think that is something he will have had at youth team level

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    GPL

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Good to hear some positive news about Elliott Bennett. I suppose it is only to be expected, but there is an upbeat mood in the way Adams puts things. "excellent player", "fantastic young man", "it doesn`t matter if you`re playing home or away". If Wes can be used properly, he could be Neil`s ace in the hole. Players like him are bound to give the ball aweay sometimes; every pass cannot be perfect. Football is a team game - other players are good at getting the ball back! Or should be. Wes does his share of harrassing, chasing, block-tackling anyway.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Agree with all comments about NA's tone so far. Early indications are he's a good man manager, of the sort to 'big-up' his players and make them feel good, which we know from experience is a good thing to do with a set of players low on confidence and who probably aren't the most talented bunch in the league! Positivity all round. I like it.

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    MancCanary

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • The big difference in the approach to the game is that Neil Adams has bigged up his players and for a change the opposition have barely had a mention, he certainly is not bigging Fulham up! Very positive attitude to a very winnable game.

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    blackdog2

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • The air feels lighter now,the negatives have all gone.Come on you Yellows,lets get back to winning and win the last 5 matches. Lots of POSITIVE vibes.OTBC

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    canarykid

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • A quote to instantly sum up the difference between Adams and Hughton: "What I like is players who can receive the ball into feet and they are looking to play it forward, to get in and hurt the opposition".

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    DT

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Whilst I agree with most of the comments here, I think we have to be a little careful when we say that one particular player is more important than another. The entire squad is important; each player has a part to play in the greater scheme of things. Whilst Wes is a great player; he is no more important than the rest of the team. And I am sure he would be the first to confirm that. The player I have most sympathy for is Ricky VW. He has been lamblasted terribly by some "fans" its no wonder his confidence is shot. So I hope Neil Adams can really inspire him to be the player we all know he can be. And I am also very confident that NA will inspire our great club to much better things. We will see a completely different attitude against Fulham tomorrow; and hopefully we will also see a great win for City!! otbc

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    Canarygirl

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Good on ya Neil Adams. If Wes Hoolhan is happy with Neil then the atmosphere and the progress they have made since monday must be good. I expect Wes to be in the first half of this saturday's match against Fulham. CH you never used Wes and why would he stay at a club that never uses him when he trains so hard. Neil Adams for the win!! CH YOU WERE RUBBISH!

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    norwichlad23

    Friday, April 11, 2014

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