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'The boys should be proud of themselves' - Hoolahan hails performance in Paris

The Norwich maestro put in an impressive display.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

WES HOOLAHAN WAS the best player on the park in Paris this evening and walked away with the UEFA man-of-the-match award.

The Norwich playmaker scored Ireland’s first goal of the tournament but was replaced by Robbie Keane  in the second half.

Hoolahan, however, insists he’ll be fit to face Belgium this weekend.

“My calves tightened up a little bit but I should be fine,” he told RTÉ’s Tony O’Donoghue.

“It was a great set-up by Seamus,” he said of the goal. “It’s come to me and I just caught it on the half volley and was delighted to see it hit the back of the net.

“It’s up there [with career highlights]. To get a goal for Ireland in the Euros is a great achievement and fair play to the boys out there today they were magnificent, unlucky not to get the three points in the end but we’ll take the point.”

Ireland may rue a missed opportunity but Hoolahan was full of praise for the chances Ireland created.

“We started well, created a lot of chances,” the former Shels No 10 said. “Jeff off the crossbar, Longy nearly got a chance and O’Shea off the back stick. But in the first half we were excellent and at the start of the second half we were excellent as well.

“But unfortunately the last 20 minutes we let it get away from us. But the boys should be proud of themselves, we put in a great performance. It’s a great point in the end. We look forward to playing Belgium next.”

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