Norwich City talisman Wes Hoolahan returns for Aston Villa clash
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Wes Hoolahan will be unleashed against Aston Villa as Alex Neil looks to spark Norwich City's Premier League survival push back into life.
Hoolahan was a notable omission from the side that lost 3-0 to Tottenham at Carrow Road, but Neil revealed he wants the Republic of Ireland international to work his magic in a crunch clash at Villa Park.
The 33-year-old scored on his last visit ,in a 4-1 league defeat to Paul Lambert's side in March 2014, and the stakes are just as high this Saturday with Norwich firmly in a relegation scrap.
'Wes was dropped out because we have a big game on Saturday and history tells me that when he plays the type of game we had against Tottenham he is not going to be ready for the weekend,' said Neil. 'So in that sense we half-protected him. Villa was always going to be big, regardless of whether we got a win, a draw, whatever (with Spurs). It is one where people expect us to just go there, turn up and win. That is not going to be the case. We are going to have to play well, to compete and make sure we are playing as well as we can.'
Alex Tettey is suspended for the trip to the Midlands after a needless tenth booking of the season in the final stages against Tottenham.
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'I spoke to him straight after the game about it and it is just a crazy decision,' said Neil. 'With 88 minutes gone and at 2-0 down, the game is petering out and we have a huge match this weekend. It is just a daft decision from him.'
Neil handed Swiss international centre-back Timm Klose a debut in midweek but the focus remains on City's defence after shipping 14 goals in the last four league games.
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'As the game wore on he looked better and more comfortable and you can certainly see he has got quality,' said Neil. 'It is never ideal when you make your debut as a defender and then concede so quickly. I think he will become better and better as he plays more games.'