‘We’re one step closer to Premier League survival’ – Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan
Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan refused to be downbeat despite the Canaries' below par display during their 1-1 draw against Wigan.
All seemed rosy in the gardens of Carrow Road when the Irishman clipped his side into a 10th minute lead but City failed to build on this early advantage allowing Wigan to dominate for long spells.
Victor Moses finally made the visitors' pressure pay in the second half to earn a draw for the strugglers but Hoolahan insists the point gained moves City closer to their pre-season goal – Premier League safety.
'We're one step closer to safety and that's what we set out to do at the start of the season,' said Hoolahan, who celebrated his 150th appearance for the Canaries yesterday. 'We want to stay in this league and we're one step closer to that.
'It's been a great season so far and it's been successful so far. You've got to look at the bigger picture.
'I don't think anyone would have expected us to have 36 points at this stage of the season when we started. We're doing well and we just need to keep that going.'
Hoolahan insisted the squad are not starting to fear the Premier League finish line despite extending their run to four games without a win. 'There's not any pressure on us – we go out to win every game and we've done that over the last three or four years and we want that to continue,' said the Irishman, who isn't concerned at what looks on paper to be a difficult run of fixtures to the end of the season. 'We're not even thinking about those last games at the moment. We'll take each game as it comes.
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'We've got a difficult game away at Newcastle and hopefully we can get a few points before the end of the season.
'Every game is tough in the Premier League, you only have to look at Swansea beating Man City but hopefully we can now go on and get a few more wins to stay in this league.'
Hoolahan was impressed by a Wigan side that knew they could ill afford another defeat in front of the Sky cameras. There was a hunger about them that perhaps only comes when players realise their Premier League careers could be coming to an end unless they start picking up results.
'Wigan didn't look like a team at the bottom of the league – they passed the ball well,' he said. 'It was difficult to get to them with the formation they chose with three at the back and two wing backs. It was as tough afternoon for us but we'll take the draw.'
Lambert shuffled his pack once more yesterday, making five changes from the side that lost to Stoke last weekend.
Hoolahan admitted that the manager plays his cards close to his chest in terms of selection, often informing the players of the starting XI an hour before kick-off.
'The gaffer keeps us on our toes and makes sure that we stay level headed. He expects to win games – that's his attitude.
'The gaffer changes the team around and freshens things up. He puts out different players for different teams.
'It's normally an hour before kick-off or sometimes we'll do set-pieces on a Thursday so we'll know then.'