Friday 23 February 2018

Wes Hoolahan dismisses any suggestion he can't play three games in 10 days

Wes Hoolahan in action against Belgium
Wes Hoolahan in action against Belgium

Aidan Fitzmaurice in Versailles

WES Hoolahan says he's ready to line out for Ireland yet again in Lille tomorrow despite fears about the 34-year-old's ability to play three games in a short space of time.

Roy Keane has already noted how the Italian players, due to their experience at the top level, are more adept at tournament football.

"Sometimes players have to get to the level where they can play three big games in nine-ten days, some of our players might not be used to that, that's where the experience comes in, players in Italy playing in big Champions League games, league deciders or whatever, they get used to it and we have to get our lads to that level," Keane said.

Hoolahan has often been rested by his managers at club and international level but the Norwich playmaker is good to go against Italy.

"I should be," he said when asked if he was ready."The body feels good and I am looking forward to playing the Italians, training today [Monday] was a warm-down, we will ramp it up on Tuesday.

"We will approach the game the same way, the Italians have been impressive in the last two games and we know what to expect, it will be a tough game but we are hoping we can get the three points."

Hoolahan speaks to the media today
Hoolahan speaks to the media today

Hoolahan also knows he'll be central to Ireland's hopes - if selected - as the Republic need to win this game.

"It's important for us to be on the front foot, keep the ball better and create chances. You have to look for the ball and get on it, help your team-mates out and try to create a few chances," he said.

"My job in the team is to create chances for the other lads and help my team-mates out, hopefully I can do that."

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