Saturday 18 November 2017

Howe fan of Harry's game

Bournemouth’s Harry Arter is fouled by Hull’s Robert Snodgrass during their English Premier League clash at the weekend.
Bournemouth’s Harry Arter is fouled by Hull’s Robert Snodgrass during their English Premier League clash at the weekend.

Harry Arter has been backed by his club boss to play his way into the Ireland starting XI on the back of his form with Bournemouth.

And Wes Hoolahan is also earning the praise of his manager at club level, his goal in Saturday's win over Rotherham United helping Norwich City go top of the Championship table.

Arter has yet to make his competitive debut for Ireland, as injury has denied him the opportunity, but Cherries manager Eddie Howe thinks that the 26-year-old, who starred for the side in Saturday's 6-1 demolition of Hull City, can do the job.

"I think the player's performance will dictate what happens on that side," said Howe of Arter's international chances.

"They've got to get their Bournemouth form right first and the rest will follow. When you talk about Harry, the last few weeks he's been absolutely terrific for us. If he continues that form, I'm sure he'll get rewarded.

"We've got some very good footballers here and some very intelligent footballers. The way we play, it's not easy. It's the hardest way to play, I believe. There's a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, but they take that very well," added Howe.

Ater was seen leaving Bournemouth's ground on crutches after the win but local reports suggest this was a precaution and he will not be out long-term.

Hoolahan is another player who is key to his side's chances this season, the ex-Shelbourne man scoring a stunning goal in that 3-1 win over Rotherham which put Norwich top of the table ahead of Huddersfield.

"He is a crucial player for us. It is as simple as that and this performance was not uncommon," said City boss Alex Neil.

"It is something we expect from him now. That speaks volumes for him and how highly he is regarded by the club and he is real quality. He makes the difference."

Hoolahan's fellow northsider Robbie Brady missed Saturday's game due to medical protocols arising from the head injury he suffered while on Ireland duty but Neil expects to have Brady available again for next weekend.

Keiren Westwood recovered from the injury which kept him out of the Ireland squad in time to return to action with his club. He played 90 minutes for Sheffield Wednesday in their 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.

In Scotland, Jonny Hayes sent out a reminder about his abilities with a goal in an impressive display for Aberdeen in their 4-0 win over Ross County.

Hayes was on the bench for the World Cup tie in Moldova last week but has yet to play in a competitive game at senior level. However, with three goals in his last six games for a Dons side, who are up to second in the SPL table, the 29-year-old is making a case.

"We are creating a lot more chances than we have done previously. The gaffer has given me licence to play a bit further forward and I am enjoying the role," says Hayes.

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