Wes Hoolahan dismisses Norwich City injury spat

Norwich City's Republic of Ireland international Wes Hoolahan is ready to play his part against Scot

Norwich City's Republic of Ireland international Wes Hoolahan is ready to play his part against Scotland in Saturday's Euro2016 qualifer. Picture: PA Wire - Credit: PA

Wes Hoolahan has rubbished claims Norwich City tried to prevent him joining up with the Republic of Ireland for a crucial Euro2016 qualifier against Scotland.

Hoolahan missed the 0-0 friendly draw with England due to a family bereavement, but reports in Ireland last week claimed City officials wanted the 33-year-old to rest a knee condition.

The key midfielder, however, insists he is fit and raring to face club mates Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker in Saturday's Dublin derby.

'They were okay,' Hoolahan told the Irish Herald. 'They were just saying that, because I hadn't been training for the last couple of weeks, to make sure that I looked after myself.

'But it's been fine and obviously I wanted to come in.

'It would be nice to start or to be involved at some stage so I'll be doing my preparation right and training hard to try to put myself into the frame.

'The gaffer (Martin O'Neill) has shown a lot of faith in me. Hopefully I can do my best and show why he has shown trust in me.

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'I didn't get to play against Russ and Steven in Glasgow in November so it would be good to get the opportunity this time around. They are confident of getting a result and going on to qualify but that's our aim too.

'It would be good to play against them and then catch up for a drink afterwards. For us, this game massively important.

'We're at home and we need to take it to them, to win the game, to go above them in the table and put ourselves in a strong position for the rest of the campaign.'

Hoolahan is looking forward to another tilt at the Premier League after playing an integral part in City's promotion.

'You get more time on the ball,' he said. 'Teams will allow you to have the ball up to a certain point on the pitch. The Championship is a tough league, it's very physically demanding. You have four games every two weeks whereas in the Premier League you're playing once a week apart from around Christmas.

'So it probably does suit me better. You want to be playing on that sort of stage. I wish I could have got to the Premier League sooner than I did (in my career), but there's no point looking back on that and regretting it.'