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Hughton backs Wes to make Irish squad

CHRIS HUGHTON wants Wes Hoolahan to force his way into Giovanni Trapattoni’s international squad by taking the |Premier League by storm.



Hoolahan (below) was a half-time substitute for Norwich in last night’s 1-0 win over Celtic at Parkhead with Hughton delighted by the display of his side.

Taking over from Paul Lambert is a massive task for the former Newcastle and Birmingham boss to take on but it’s one that Hughton is relishing after the heavy politics of his two |previous jobs.

The new man in charge at Carrow Road has been a long term admirer of Hoolahan and would love to help him add to the solitary international cap he picked up against Columbia four years ago.

“I remember watching Wes when he had a real good season at Blackpool before he moved on,” Hughton revealed. “He’s a particular type of player. He’ll work very, very well in the holes, if you give him time and space on the ball he’s the type of |player that makes things happen.

“At the moment the Irish squad is very settled, there’s not been many changes and the manager just wants to stick with the squad he has.

“As each campaign develops you'd like to think opportunities will come up and I’m quite sure that Wes will stay optimistic that things might change for him.”

Grant Holt scored the only goal of the game against Celtic with his 87th minute tap-in showing that his summer |stand-off with the club is firmly in the past.

“Grant is a typical number nine that enjoys scoring goals,” Hughton added. “He worked hard for us, he played a bit different to what he’s used to but he’s the number nine type and you could see that from his |reaction to scoring.”

Hughton knows that he’ll be judged when the real action begins at Fulham on August 18 but couldn't be happier with the situation that he has inherited.

“From the moment that I walked in I got a good feel for the club,” he added. “That’s how it should be when you've had two promotions and a very good season in the Premier League. If that wasn’t there there would be something wrong.”

Celtic's Champions League opponents were confirmed last night when HJK Helsinki beat KR of Iceland 2-1 to go through 9-1 on aggregate.