Daniel Farke urges Wes Hoolahan to play on
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Wes Hoolahan will be irreplaceable at Norwich City.
Daniel Farke knows the Canaries have waved goodbye to an influential figure on and off the pitch, after the Irishman’s emotional swansong in the 2-1 Championship win against Leeds United.
“He leaves a big hole,” said the head coach. “A brilliant footballer who proved here he can still help us win Championship games.
“It is not easy to replace him but it is also his personality in the dressing room.
“He doesn’t want to be a teacher for the lads but he gives his experience in a nice, gentle way. It is not easy to do what he has done for this club.”
He finished his career on a high at Norwich and that is what all players want.
“I am not sure what he will do next. We haven’t spoken about this.
“It was important for him to finish this emotional chapter. If you ask me, I would hope he continues to play.
“I always tell my lads the nicest part of this career is to be a footballer, so play as long as you can.”
Hoolahan was rightly lauded as the headline act but Farke praised his fellow team mates for their supporting role.
“I got the feeling during the whole week all the players and staff were greedy to give him this farewell,” said the German.
“Wes made it clear we had to concentrate on the win. We were focused so much and it is difficult for the head when you concede like we did.
“There were a lot of nerves but we were able to turn the game for Wes.
“The goal was a sign of his character. Not only can he produce magic on the pitch but he is also a hard worker.
“Mario Vrancic wins the ball and Wes forced the move with a dribble and if you work hard you earn the luck from the deflection and then it hit the post and felt like two minutes before the ball went over the line.
“To have Wes doing that in his final game and so crucial in such a great atmosphere, to score his first league goal of the season and an assist, it was brilliant.”
Leeds’ chief Paul Heckingbottom was in no doubt Hoolahan’s bizarre leveller was the defining moment.
“I felt it was there for us for the taking,” he said. “Get in front, bit better game management, final two minutes of the first half, deal with things better, don’t take any chances, there was no danger.
“ felt if they were going to get into the game, or get back in it, it would have taken something like that (a deflection).
“People have to get on the ball, they have to be brave if they’re going to play for us. Have to. Game management. We were on top at that moment.
“After the goal in particular we pressed higher, we got the ball, won the ball back in their half, we could have continued doing that.
“When I look back at this game Norwich will have won the individual battles and duels and that upsets me.”