Wes Hoolahan has the midas touch for Alex Neil after inspiring Norwich City’s 3-1 Championship win over Rotherham
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Wes Hoolahan's magic touch should never be taken for granted, insisted Alex Neil, after the Irishman inspired Norwich City to a 3-1 Championship win over Rotherham United.
Hoolahan's sublime body swerve and close-range finish opened the scoring prior to the interval at Carrow Road before Cameron Jerome and Steven Naismith fired Norwich top of the table.
Dexter Blackstock's second-half goal for the Millers created some anxiety but Naismith sealed a win sparked by the latest influential outing from Hoolahan.
'He is a crucial player for us. It is as simple as that and this performance was not uncommon,' said Neil. 'It is something we expect from him now. That speaks volumes for him and how highly he is regarded by the club and he is real quality. He makes the difference.
'I thought our performance was very good. At half-time we could have easily been 3-0 up and it wouldn't have looked out of place in terms of how we played. I thought we were quite wasteful in terms of chances created and the new wanted a response to put the game to bed. We got it, I felt we were comfortable but when they score it is always a concern but to get the third and finish the game was pleasing.
'I thought we were always in control of the game. The only time we looked unsettled was when we conceded and we made it much more difficult than it needed to be because we were that dominant we should have put it to bed.'
Norwich moved a point clear of Newcastle United and Huddersfield, with the Terriers in action on Sunday at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
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'You have to win games to be there on merit. After 12 games we deserve to be there,' he said. 'The lads deserve it but in terms of the actual team itself, we were without Jonny Howson and Robbie Brady, and they are big players for us but I thought Alex Pritchard came in for his first league start and did really well. Josh (Murphy) came on and created the last goal. There is still a lot more to come from us.'
Howson missed out with an ankle injury while Brady was not risked following his concussion suffered on international duty but both will come into contention for next week's trip to Fulham.