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Sunday 18 March 2018

Norwich boss Alex Neil hails Wes Hoolahan's performance against Bournemouth

Alex Neil, pictured, was thrilled with Wes Hoolahan's performance
Alex Neil, pictured, was thrilled with Wes Hoolahan's performance

Alex Neil lavished praise on Wes Hoolahan after his man of the match performance in Saturday's win over Bournemouth.

The Norwich boss enjoyed victory against the Cherries in his first game in charge and repeated the feat with a 3-1 success that lifts his side into the top half of the Premier League.

Hoolahan created the opening goal for Cameron Jerome before scoring the second himself just seven minutes into the second half.

The game was wrapped up when loanee Matt Jarvis struck on his debut, with Steve Cook grabbing a consolation for the visitors.

The win gives Neil his first home Premier League victory but it was the performance of playmaker Hoolahan that had the Scot purring after the game.

"Fantastic," he said when asked to sum up the 33-year-old's contribution,

"He is capable of that. He isn't going to always have days when he has that much influence but when he does he is a joy to watch. He is a special player and he has been excellent since I came here.

"I think his performance today was terrific, he has been a key figure in my team, I like creative players - Nathan Redmond has probably played his best football over the last six months, that type of player has a place in my team but they have to put the work-rate in as well."

This win was a second of the season for Norwich and Neil was keen to stress the suggestions of a slow start to the campaign for the Canaries were wide of the mark.

"Football is funny. Whatever spin you can put on things - people buy into it," he added.

"We have played four games before today and three of them we played well in, the last one we didn't and and we're told we have started the season badly.

"We went and won the game and the story is completely different but I think that is just the circus that goes on in the Premier League.

"If anybody is a Norwich fan, we have played four games where we have performed really well, one where we have not, if we can average that over the rest of the season it'll be fine. People in football don't get carried away with it."

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was left bemoaning his side's poorest performance in 18 months and pointed to a poor defensive display as the cause of the defeat.

"Without a shadow of a doubt," he said when asked if that was the Cherries' worst performance in their short Premier League history.

"Definitely this season and, reflecting back on last season I don't think we performed like that at all throughout the season.

"It is part of the learning curve for us, the development of the squad, when we have moments like this we have to show our strengths. It was always going to be like that this season.

"From our perspective we defended very poorly. At 0-0 right in the game there was not a lot between the teams, the first goal was really poor to give away.

"From that moment on until the second went in we lost our way for 10 mins totally, before finding ourselves. That 10 minute period was most unlike us."

Press Association

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