Wes Hoolahan can be Neil Adams’ Norwich City talisman
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Neil Adams would have no issue placing his trust in Wes Hoolahan to help fire Norwich City to Premier League safety over the run-in.
Hoolahan found himself operating on the left of midfield in the final games of Chris Hughton’s tenure with limited success, but Adams is well aware the mercurial Irishman can make a difference.
“I have seen Wes play in a number of positions, left-side, in the hole as a number 10, and Wes is an attacking player,” said the new City chief. “He is someone who can get on the ball and get on the turn. What I like is players who can receive the ball into feet and they are looking to play it forward, to get in and hurt the opposition. That is Wes’ natural game. I have seen many, many games, even going back to his time at Blackpool, so we all know what Wes can do and what he can’t do. “He is a fantastic player and if he is on the pitch and gets enough of the ball then on his day he can win you a game. It is about the philosophy underpinning how you go about things and it doesn’t matter whether you are playing home or away.”
Adams plans to reveal his plans to the players prior to departing for London.
“I’ll pick a team I feel can win a game, that is how I have always worked as a coach,” he said. “We have looked at Fulham and we will have a system that gives us the best chance to do that and we will be ready if we need to change things at half-time or during a game.
“In terms of changing the line-up it is up to the players to force their way in. I have a team in mind and we have changed things about a bit in training and I will probably name the team on Friday just before we travel down to the game. The vast majority of the players are fit. We just have to check on one or two, but we have worked well and the players will be ready. They have been responsive to what I have asked of them.”
Leroy Fer has returned to training this week but Adams will take no risks with the Dutch international’s fitness for the trip to Fulham whilst Seb Bassong and Ryan Bennett have both been nursing knocks.
“Leroy has been out there training but it might be a little bit too soon for him this game,” said Adams. “He is one who has been out for a bit with his hamstring but we have rested him at the right times and pushed him at others. He is one we have a decision to make. He’s an excellent player and the more players we’ve got fit the better.”
Elliott Bennett will step up his comeback from knee ligament surgery with a second development outing in Friday’s home game against Bolton’s Under-21s.
“He got 70 minutes at Anfield and that was his first game back from an ACL injury, which is one of the worst injuries you can get. He needs games now,” said Adams. “I have spoken to him and he is a fantastic young man who desperately wants to play football. That is exactly the type of attitude we want, but 65 minutes in an under-21 game is not enough. Hopefully he gets 90 minutes and we take it from there.”