Giovanni Trapattoni: I ignored Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan for too long

Norwich City midfielderWes Hoolahan celebrates his one and only senior goal for the Republic of Irel

Norwich City midfielderWes Hoolahan celebrates his one and only senior goal for the Republic of Ireland. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Giovanni Trapattoni has admitted that he 'ignored' Wes Hoolahan for too long and should have called him up earlier.

The Republic boss was questioned about the positive impact Hoolahan has had on Ireland in recent matches – plus the fact he is only now getting the recognition some feel he has deserved for some time.

'When you asked me before, I said Hoolahan's age is 30 years old and we are starting the new generation for the next season,' said Trapattoni. 'I said also that maybe I ignored him a bit.'

Hoolahan is all but certain to start against the Faroe Islands at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night in their World Cup qualifier, a remarkable about turn from Trapattoni.

Meanwhile, Sunday was a good day for Hoolahan for two reasons – a Dublin day that started with his mates from Sheriff YC winning the first of two games played at Lansdowne Road, before the Norwich City man went out and played some stirring stuff himself in the Ireland shirt.

Despite it being the 31-year-old's first international start, Hoolahan took to the role and the big stage with ease – posing the question why he has been so ignored at international level over the years, especially from his senior debut in 2008 to his first start at the weekend.

And maybe there was an omen for Hoolahan in the fact that his local club won the curtain-raiser, Sheriff YC winning the FAI Junior Cup.

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'It was a good day all round,' said Hoolahan, who comes from Portland Row, just a long throw away from Sheriff's base in the north inner-city. 'It's nice to get my first start and it was nice to be out there. It was a good performance, the lads were great and it was a good win in the end.

'It was nice to get on the ball. It helped that they went down to 10 men as well, so we had a lot of time on the ball and we created a lot of chances. In the second-half especially we looked quite strong going forward. You just want to keep doing well and hopefully I'll do well in training this week. If I'm called upon I'll do a good job.

'Obviously the manager has to make two changes (Shane Long and James McCarthy are suspended). They are two big players and they are going to be missed. Last night you saw how good they are.

'We will miss them but there are good enough players in the squad to hopefully take their place.'