Canaries international players enjoy winning 'end' to season
PUBLISHED: 06:54 10 June 2013
The season is finally over for the quartet of Norwich City players away on international duty - and it ends with praise ringing in their ears.
Wes Hoolahan’s long-awaited introduction to the international stage earned him rave reviews, while Scotland’s shock 1-0 win in Croatia on Friday was achieved with the help of three Canaries - goalscorer Robert Snodgrass, Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker.
While the Scottish trio return home hoping to have done enough to be included in manager Gordon Strachan’s plans for their next outing, against England in August, Hoolahan has had to scrub out any plans to feature for the Irish in their friendly against Spain in the Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday because of a foot injury.
While he misses the opportunity to test himself against the best midfielders in the world, Hoolahan’s consolation is the acclaim he has received after his performances in the friendly against Georgia and the World Cup qualifier against the Faroes.
Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni’s scepticism over Hoolahan’s claims appeared to have disappeared after the Faroes game.
“He was fantastic, as he was in the last game,” he said. “He has a good personality, he’s creative, but he also pressed as well, which is very important.
“I have said in the past that maybe we ignored him slightly, but at that moment, we had achieved qualification (for Euro 2012) and we were looking at a new group of players.
“Hoolahan is not old, but he’s 31 and at that time, we had Darron Gibson, Glenn Whelan, Keith Andrews and other players. It was a pity because he has showed us that he is fantastically creative and one of the best Irish players in this position.”
Snodgrass believes Scotland proved their doubters wrong after their win in Zagreb.
“It feels good,” he said. “We came here believing we could get something. There was loads of pride at stake, the manager gave a few boys a chance and we’re delighted with the result.”
Croatia had spoken with plenty of confidence ahead of the match, but Snodgrass said Scotland had used that as motivation.
Asked what Strachan had told his players, he said: “He just said, ‘Everybody can play with heart, run about a lot and do things, but it takes a little bit more now’. I think we played a good Croatia side there and got the three points, and I think we could have nicked a few more goals.”