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Hoolahan revels in free role ahead of Spurs rematch

AFTER inspiring Norwich to four points from their last two Premier League games, Wes Hoolahan is revelling in his number 10 role.

Manager Chris Hughton endured an indifferent start to his tenure but is finally seeing his Canaries gel and show some of the form that stunned the Premier League last season and Hoolahan has been the catalyst.

Hoolahan admits that it took time for the new regime to bed in but now his side is ready to fire.

"It takes time, of course, with a new manager coming in and playing the way he wants to play," said the 30-year-old, who has pretty much a free rein playing just behind skipper Grant Holt.

"In the last two games, we've played really well. When you've got Holty up there playing with you it's great because he knows where to run. I enjoy playing in this position.

"We want to finish as high as we can, achieve what we did last season and push on even more.

"We're looking higher than the bottom of the table, we have a lot of quality players here."

Despite their good form, Hughton fears rejuvenated Tottenham will be a different prospect to earlier in the season in tonight's League Cup fourth-round clash.

The Canaries left White Hart Lane with a 1-1 draw at the start of last month and Hughton insists that afternoon has instilled the belief that they can compete with Andre Villas-Boas' side.

But Spurs have won six of their 10 games since, losing just once, and Hughton believes they now offer more formidable opposition. "Tottenham are a wonderful club that play a fabulous brand of football," he said.

"They're in great form and have been finding greater consistency.

"We don't know what side they will put out and they're perhaps in a different place now compared to then. Their season is going well now. They have a lot of quality in the team.

"But the fact we gave a good account of ourselves at White Hart Lane gives us confidence that we will do okay. We're at home and we must make sure we'll give our crowd plenty to cheer about."

Ten days ago Norwich sprang the upset of the season so far by defeating Arsenal 1-0 in the Premier League.

Hughton wants his side to continue their mastery of north London against Tottenham at Carrow Road.

"There aren't many teams that will win this competition so if you have an opportunity to progress it's a big plus for the club," he said.

"It's a massive game and we want to make progress in the Capital One Cup. We've had some lows this season, but the morale has always been good. We accept what we are as a club and accept that nothing will come to us easily. We have to fight for what we get.

"But we are in good form at the moment with a win and draw from our last two games lifting everybody."