Wes Hoolahan calls for Anfield attack
Republic of Ireland international crucial to Norwich’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend
Wes Hoolahan (right) of Norwich says Canaries should not sit back when the visit Liverpool on Wednesday. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
The Canaries put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Carrow Road to hand new Eagles boss Tony Pulis defeat in his first match.
There were plenty of nervous moments along the way for the bumper home crowd though after Gary Hooper’s goal in the 30th minute, with Palace hitting the woodwork and also enjoying the better of the second half. Nevertheless, Norwich - whose seven league defeats have seen manager Chris Hughton’s position come under increasing scrutiny - have now collected two wins from the last three games, and can head to Anfield on Wednesday night with some confidence restored.
Hoolahan was recalled for his first Premier League start of the season, with the likes of Republic of Irleand team-mate Anthony Pilkington and Robert Snodgrass both sidelined by injury. It proved a sound move by Hughton as the Ireland playmaker teed up Hooper to score from close range.
Hoolahan - who helped drive Norwich’s rapid promotion run up from League One - feels they can now target a shock result at Anfield.
“On our day, I believe we can beat anyone in this league, we just need to trust in ourselves,” said the Dubliner. “Obviously Liverpool is a difficult place to go and we are going to have to be solid there and hopefully get a point there or even three.
“We are not going to go there and try and defend all day because they will just punish you. Hopefully we will go there with an attack-minded team and give them a go.”
Hooper, meanwhile, is relishing the prospect of testing himself against one of the top flight’s leading sides, having given up the chance to play for Celtic in the Champions League when he headed to Norfolk in a €6 million summer transfer.
“It is the regular aspect of the Premier League, and it is the best league in the world,” said the 25-year-old former Southend and Scunthorpe forward. “The Champions League is nice, but it is not every week, is it?
“In the Premier League we went to Old Trafford a few weeks ago, now we are going to Anfield on Wednesday - it doesn’t get any better than that, does it?”
Hughton feels patience will be the key to Norwich’s hopes of long-term progression this season, as he looks to get the best from half-a-dozen summer arrivals integrating within the squad.
“We needed this win,” said Hughton. “There is always pressure that comes with the position we are in, but the league is tight. There are teams that before this weekend who were four points above us who everyone was speaking about in very good terms, but we win and they lose, then suddenly it becomes only one point.
“But everyone looks at the moment and if you are in a certain position it can be deemed with doom and gloom, but you are only ever one or two wins away from being in a better position.”
Hughton also sees no reason why Norwich should not look to take something out of their trip to Merseyside. He said: “It won’t change the mindset going to Anfield, but there is a better feeling going there now. Confidence is a big part of the game and if you are on the back of a good result there is always a better feeling.
“We have been very sporadic this season, but also had some really good performances.”