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'Canaries' on Marco's mind

MARCO Tardelli kept a close eye on new recruit Anthony Pilkington over the weekend but left Carrow Road with mixed feelings after James McCarthy was carted off with damaged ankle ligaments.

Both Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan obliged with a goal each to beat Wigan and earned a glowing report card from Norwich boss Chris Hughton.

But Giovanni Trapattoni will be worried to hear about McCarthy's injury, caused by a meaty tackle from Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson which is likely to sideline him until the New Year at least.

"It was a nasty challenge, one incident off the ball," said Wigan boss Roberto Martinez. "It is one of those actions you don't want to see."

"James McCarthy has been in good form, and they took him out of the game, which is very disappointing. It is his ankle ligaments, we will X-ray it and get the results from the scans very shortly, but I doubt if he will be available for the next 10 days."

Pilkington is waiting for paperwork to be done to clear his application for an Irish passport and it looks like he is ready to commit once the administration is completed.

"I have had a call from the Republic and they are now starting to sort out all the paperwork. That's where we are at the moment. But their next game isn't until February so we will just have to wait and see what happens. We just have to sort out all the paperwork and then go from there really."

"I am definitely eligible because my grandmother comes from Ireland, from Dublin. So I would be more than happy to play for them, if I am selected."

Hughton is delighted that Pilkington is looking to Ireland for international football but seemed to hint that England were not out of the running yet.

"At this moment he still hasn't been officially called into any squad," he said. "I'm always delighted for any player to be involved at international level. I think it enhances their career.

"For me it was a decision that I have never, ever regretted."

If Pilkington was the star of the show against Wigan, Hoolahan wasn't far behind and Hughton lavished praise on his playmaker.

"Fortunately for us, Wes has signed a new deal and he has earned it, and not just for this season," said Hughton.

"He was excellent today and to see Wes get a headed goal was worth the entrance fee alone.

"Wes capped off a really good all-round team performance."