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Hoolahan is still able to lift the spirits of City fans

Wes Hoolahan has made an impact as a substitute during City's recent games. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Wes Hoolahan has made an impact as a substitute during City's recent games. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Wes Hoolahan is fit and available to start if City are searching for the luck of the Irish against Reading on St Patrick’s Day.

Wes Hoolahan celebrates scoring in a 1-1 draw at Sunderland in March 2013 by doing a St Patrick's Day jig with Kei Kamara. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdWes Hoolahan celebrates scoring in a 1-1 draw at Sunderland in March 2013 by doing a St Patrick's Day jig with Kei Kamara. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The 35-year-old Canaries legend hasn’t started a game in 2018 but has featured as a substitute in the last four matches, looking lively during the closing stages of the 1-1 draw at Barnsley on Tuesday.

As the Canaries look to improve on draws in each of their last three Carrow Road encounters against the relegation-threatened Royals this afternoon, Hoolahan features highly in the thoughts of head coach Daniel Farke.

“It’s important to have him back because he can have a big influence,” the German said. “I know that perhaps his statistics are not the best at the moment with no goals and two assists but it is nothing you can prove with the statistics. We all feel he is still able to create something special and special moments.

“After his back injury he is now again in a really good shape, it’s always about finding the right moment when he can help the team the most. We all have the feeling that at the moment it’s good to have him on the bench because we are able to substitute him when the opponent is perhaps a bit tired in the second half and he gives us a lift and also a lift for the supporters and he always can influence a lot.”

MORE: England U20s games could help Spurs loanee’s City quest – but Reading involvement is still possible

With 345 City appearances to his name since joining from Blackpool in 2008, supporters know they must make the most of the Republic of Ireland international as his contract comes towards its end, with a new deal looking unlikely.

“He can start games and I’m pretty sure in the next weeks he will start some games,” Farke added. “But you also have to think about which game is the best solution for him. I am really happy with him because for 35 years old he is in a really good physical condition.”

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