Norwich City manager Chris Hughton’s praise for Wes Hoolahan

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has revealed he is a long-time admirer of midfield maestro Wes Hoolahan.

The Irishman's superb displays have been central to City's upturn in Premier League fortunes against Arsenal and Aston Villa since the last international break. Hoolahan's form could earn him a belated call-up to the Republic of Ireland scene with Giovanni Trapattoni set to name his next squad for an upcoming friendly against Greece in Dublin next month. The Italian witnessed first hand Hoolahan's trickery in the recent Carrow Road league win over the Gunners and Hughton endorsed the Dubliner's credentials again after his virtuoso exhibition at Villa Park.

'He is a wonderful player,' he said. 'Someone asked me (after the game) and I said he isn't different to what I thought before I came. I thought he was a superb player. With him it is always about getting him in the team. Do you play two out-and-out strikers who give you a little different dimension so whether Wes is in or not it won't change my opinion of what a good player he is. Even before I came to this football club he would either play in that role or in an advanced midfield role in a diamond. That is the best way to utilise him. The way he is playing you want to get him on the ball just off the front and you saw that with his chance in the first half.

'If you play him a little deeper you know he can also influence the play from there. I certainly see him more central, but I think the thing with Wes is that is it is no surprise what he is producing. He is someone who played a lot of Premier League games last season so it should not be a coincidence.'