Wes Hoolahan misses Spain – but hopes to be back for crunch Ireland fixtures
- Credit: PA
Wes Hoolahan will miss the Republic of Ireland's prestige friendly with the world and European champions Spain in the early hours of Wednesday morning – but hopes it will be a different story when they return to the serious action.
A hamstring injury ruled the Norwich City forward out of the game at New York's Yankee Stadium. And while Giovanni Trapattoni's side return with a friendly in Wales on August 14 – three days before the opening weekend of the season – Hoolahan hopes his form at Carrow Road and recently with Ireland will ensure he is involved in what comes after.
Ireland host Sweden and travel to Austria in back-to-back World Cup qualifiers the following month – two games that could take the Irish a big step towards spending the following summer in Rio.
Hoolahan impressed in recent showings against the Faroe Islands and Georgia, and the 31-year-old hopes a decent start to term with the Canaries will keep him in the picture.
'We have a big squad and we have other players who will come back into the squad for the next games, so all you can do on an individual basis is keep doing well for your club and then hope that the opportunity with Ireland will come,' said Hoolahan.
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'I think I did well in the two games even though it was an unusual scenario for me. I can't remember the last time I played as one of a two-man central midfield. But that's the job I did with Glenn Whelan last week, and I think I did OK.
'I was happy with the night on Friday. We got the win we deserved, Robbie got three goals and it was nice on a personal level to play a part in one of the goals.'
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The only issue for Hoolahan was a booking he earned for a foul – something of a surprise given Hoolahan only clocked three Premier League bookings all season.
'I'm not known for getting bookings, it was a bit stupid of me, I pulled him back and I probably deserved it,' he added.