Matt Holland says Norwich City's Wes Hoolahan is vital to their survival hopes

Norwich City are one of six teams fighting relegation, Matt Holland says.

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Matt Holland believe Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan holds the key in terms of the club’s chances of Premier League survival this season.

The Canaries won promotion to the top-flight via the Championship playoffs last season, defeating Middlesbrough 2-0 in an absorbing final played at Wembley.

They’ve made an interesting start to life in the big league, claiming 12 points from 13 games which currently leaves in 16th position and three points above the drop zone.

Holland feels they are one of six candidates for the drop this season, and the former Ipswich idol believes their chances of survival could rest upon the form and fitness of Hoolahan.

“It’s going to be three from six [to go down]. The three promoted sides come into that,” Holland said. I don’t think Norwich have got that many goals in the team, and I think Wes Hoolahan is vital to their chances.”

Hoolahan, 33, is very much a rarity in football in that he seems to have come from the wilderness and really peaked in what is normally the twilight years for most footballers.

After starting his career at Shelbourne and later going to Livingston, Hoolahan became a Blackpool player when the Tangerines were in League One before moving to Norwich in 2008.

He has gone to play 233 games for the Canaries, helping them achieve successive promotions from League One to the Premier League before doing it again last year.

So far this season the attack-minded midfielder has one goal and five assists in nine Premier League starts, and it is his creativity which will be key to Norwich’s survival hopes.

With Sunderland and Newcastle United picking up over the past month or so, it’s beginning to get tight again at the bottom and relegation could be decided by the small margins.

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