Martin O’Neill reveals his one big regret over Wes Hoolahan
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Former Norwich City boss Martin O'Neill believes he could have made Wes Hoolahan an even better player if he had worked with him at club level.
Hoolahan bowed out from the Canaries last weekend, after a decade of service, in an emotional goalscoring swansong against Leeds United at Carrow Road.
The 35-year-old midfielder was a regular in O'Neill's Republic of Ireland set-up until his international retirement and lit up Euro 2016 in his country's run to the knockout stages.
But O'Neill, speaking to Irish sports website Off The Ball, admitted Hoolahan could have hit the heights if he had worked with him earlier in his career.
'I of course inherited Wes when he was older,' said O'Neill. 'He's a player that I would have liked to have got hold of when he was 21 or 22 because I think if you were working with him at club level – and this is no disrespect to other managers who had him – I think you could have taught him the game in the way which I was taught at Nottingham Forest.
'I thought I knew the game but really didn't for quite some considerable time. By that I mean; when to pass the ball, when to run with it and all of those things.
'But I've enjoyed working with him. He's never been a minute's trouble and he's always wanted to play for Ireland, which is a great thing.
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'I had a conversation with him when he was retiring and he was very appreciative of the time he had here and the time that he was on the field with me.'