Norwich City boss Chris Hughton impressed by Wes Hoolahan's performance
PUBLISHED: 16:59 24 September 2012 | UPDATED: 17:20 24 September 2012
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Norwich City chief Chris Hughton insisted the recalled Wes Hoolahan did everything he asked of him in the Canaries' 1-0 Premier League defeat at Newcastle.
Hoolahan left a major impression on Hughton during his first top flight start of the campaign in a new-look formation paired behind Steve Morison. Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson made way as Hughton tried to pep up his frontline. A second consecutive blank may suggest the policy reaped only minimal dividends, but Hoolahan reinforced his case for a longer stint in the starting line up.
“I thought he was very good today, considering we got 90 minutes out of him and apart from the league cup tie this was his first game of the season,” said Hughton. “I wanted to change things around because we were coming to a stadium where you know it is going to be a tough. They have the ability to go long into the front players or they can show more quality on the ball and I wanted to get Wes on the ball for us as much as possible.
“By doing that I thought it would release whoever I played up top. I wanted to change things around a little bit as well to try and get a change of fortune in front of goal. Unfortunately for us, it has been a similar story to the last three games. We have wanted to get on the ball and try and play, which is difficult when you come here with the quality they have, but to cause them problems is a testament to our side.”
Hoolahan carved out a golden chance for Andrew Surman which could have altered the balance of the contest after City were undone by Demba Ba in the 19th minute.
“I was disappointed with the goal we conceded because it was the type of one we saw them score earlier in the week,” said Hughton. “With that similar type of movement and that type of space. I thought we showed enough quality in our possession today, albeit we didn’t have great chances, but Andrew Surman had arguably the best chance of the game – apart from their penalty. I felt we had enough about us to get something.
“We are on the back of four good performances and having been at Newcastle for the period of time I was, I know how difficult it is to get a result. Perhaps this wouldn’t have been one of Newcastle’s better performances here, but it was still going to be difficult to get a result. But with that type of spirit and that type of commitment, I believe the first win will not be too far away. This is probably the fourth game in a row I have had this frustration and I’m looking very much forward to that win, because I think this group of players deserve it.”
Hughton filed Newcastle’s first half penalty in the same drawer as QPR’s at Carrow Road, although Papiss Cisse’s wayward finish ensured Morison went unpunished for easing Mike Williamson under the ball inside the Norwich area.
“I would have to say there was some movement from Steve but I still think it was a soft penalty,” he said. “If you perhaps analysed it again you would say there has been a movement but it is a penalty that in other games would not have been awarded.
“We have had one or two of those incidents and I know in this game you make your own luck but it would still be nice to be on the right side of it. I’d like to think we have a group of players who will come away having learned what we didn’t do well to get the result and try to put that right.
“At Tottenham we deserved to win and here on the balance of play we put in a real good account of ourselves. Apart from that first game, we have been brave away from home. We conceded one goal here at a place where with this strike force they will score plenty.”