Former Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion midfielder Steven Reid was full of praise for Norwich City star Wes Hoolahan following his impact for the Republic of Ireland on Sunday night.
The 34-year-old, who is now a coach at Reading, believes Martin O’Neill’s decision to leave out Hoolahan for Ireland’s crucial game against Poland was a poor one considering his impact from the bench.
Talking to the Irish Independent, Reid said: ‘’Wes Hoolahan offers something different. When you are a team which concedes possession so cheaply, you need one player who guards it jealously. That's Hoolahan. We missed him last night.
‘’When he came on, he made a difference. That last quarter, when Aiden McGeady, Robbie Keane and Hoolahan were introduced, was so different to the first three quarters of the game.
Could Hoolahan be the difference in surival for Norwich City this season?
The experienced central midfielder has been in fantastic form so far this season, with five assists from his opening seven games, and looks like he will continue to play an integral role in the Canneries’ battle for survival.
Only David Silva has managed more Premier League assists so far this season, with Norwich enjoying a steady, if unspectacular, start to the season.
It was impossible to overlook his impact once he was on the pitch for Republic of Ireland, as referenced by Reid, and O’Neill’s biggest regret will surely be not playing him from the start.
Hoolahan has quickly become an important player for both club and country and will no doubt be a key part if City are to retain their Premier League status past this season.