Norwich City have been good for Wes Hoolahan, admits Republic of Ireland legend Roy Keane

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan has impressed Roy Keane since his Norwich City days. Photo: Chris

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan has impressed Roy Keane since his Norwich City days. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Wes Hoolahan has a lot to thank Norwich City for, insists Republic of Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane.

The 34-year-old lit up his country's opening Euro 2016 Group E 1-1 draw against Sweden with a sweet right-footed goal and will again be a key figure in Saturday's clash against Belgium in Bordeaux.

Hoolahan was out of favour for Ireland's previous European Championship campaign under Giovanni Trapattoni but has blossomed under the astute leadership of Martin O'Neill and his right-hand man.

'If you look at Wes's career, and I wouldn't say he's a late developer as such, he hasn't played that many games at the top level,' said Keane. 'But he's always been a talented boy. When Wes scored and played well, we're not sat on the sidelines scratching our heads. We know what he is capable of doing.

'It was probably the last few years at Norwich (I became aware of him) when he had a bit of success and Paul Lambert was his manager. They had a couple of promotions on the spin.

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'His name might have been mentioned to me before then, but no it was at Norwich under Paul. He's a late developer, 33, 34, it's brilliant he's coming into a tournament and having a big impact. He's matured nicely.

'I don't think there's an issue with a player like Wes over whether he's doing enough when he's on the ball. You can talk all day about what he does off the ball – you can do that with a lots players. If Wes is giving you that bit of trickery, a bit of composure and obviously his goal was fantastic going forward then, trust me, you don't talk about the other stuff.'

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