Norwich City midfielder, Anthony Pilkington has been talking to The Irish Mirror and reckons that his club and country team mate, Wes Hoolahan should be an integral part of the Irish team and has urged Martin O`Neill to make it happen.
Despite being 32 years old, Hoolahan has only 15 caps to his name but he has featured in all seven of the games in the O`Neill era and has started 3 or the last four, including the 5-1 defeat at the hands of Portugal.
He`s a great player – everyone in Ireland can see that,” Pilkington said.
“I`ve said many times I don`t know how he hasn`t got more caps than he has because he`s a great little player.
“When he does get a run in a team, he shows what he can do but it`s been difficult for him.
“He`s not had many games for Norwich this season so he`s not really been match-fit coming into the friendlies but he`s a really good player, he`s really comfortable on the ball and he can make things happen.
“When you`ve got players like that in your team, you`ve got to build the team around him because they can always create something for nothing.
“They`re the type of players you need to win games.”
Pilkington is 26 himself but only has seven caps, which like Hoolahan is a figure that he knows should be higher.
A combination of hamstring and knee injuries have ravaged the last two season at Norwich for him, which in turn has impacted on Pilks` International career as well.
“Whenever I`ve been fit, I`ve always come over and tried to get myself in the team,” he said.
“Just because I`ve missed a few games this season didn`t mean I didn`t want to come over.”
Both players will be hoping that new City manager, Neil Adams will give both of them a lot more game time than they have seen in recent months.
We all know about Hoolahan’s desire to leave last January, due to a lack of game time under Chris Hughton. He has 12 months left on his contract and no doubt, he just wants to play football. I suspect that much will depend on the ins and outs at Carrow Road and whether or not there is some movement in the City midfield.
There is no question of Hoolahan’s ability and if given the chance he could be a driving force in the City midfield once again.