Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan is ready to shine for the Republic of Ireland
- Credit: PA
Wes Hoolahan insists his Premier League displays for Norwich prove he can cut it at international level for the Republic of Ireland.
The 31-year-old is poised to feature in Sunday's Dublin friendly against Georgia with Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni pledging to make changes from the team that drew 1-1 with England.
Hoolahan endured a frustrating watching brief at Wembley in a theme which has characterised his return to the international fold after a four-year exile. The former Shelbourne player is still waiting for his first start after earning four caps under Trapattoni, but Hoolahan is convinced he can make the step up if he is given a chance to impress.
'It's up to the manager to pick the formation with Ireland,' he said. 'At Norwich I generally play in the hole, behind the striker. When we play against the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United we play what's more or less a 4-5-1, so I get to roam around and get on the ball as much as I can, but also help out the lads defensively when we don't have the ball.
'It's a position where you basically go and float, I can play on the left or just in the middle as well but that free role is one I really enjoy; I have played well there at Premier League level and I think I could do well there at international level.
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'It is different with Ireland as we generally play 4-4-2; it's the manager's call to make. But if the manager did play a 4-5-1, with me in the hole, I think I'd do well, I have been doing that for the last four or five years at a high level: you play against top-class defenders in the Premier League every week, to me it's the best league in the world.'
Hoolahan scored his only goal of his senior career in a 2-0 friendly win over Poland in his hometown and the Dubliner is ready if he gets the call against Georgia with the Republic building up for next week's World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands.
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'Yeah, I think I can add something to the team if I come in,' he said. 'I like getting in the box, scoring goals, creating goals for other players - that's how I see my job.
'I am a player who likes to get forward and hopefully that's what I can bring to the team. It looks like the manager will make changes and hopefully I will get a chance to get on.'
Hoolahan was joined in the original Irish squad by club mate Anthony Pilkington before the City midfielder pulled out to rest a persistent knee injury. Trapattoni had hinted he would pair the duo in tandem during the summer friendlies and Hoolahan would relish an opportunity to link up with Pilkington on the big stage.
'We fit in well together at Norwich and I'd like to see us do the same with Ireland,' he said. 'In the last few games of the season, especially against Manchester City, we linked up well together and I got an assist for his goal against City.
'We have played together for the last two years and train with each other week in week out, we know each other as players and I'd love to see how well we'd do with Ireland.'