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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Friday, 29 October 2010 13:06 UK

Norwich boss Paul Lambert expresses Wes Hoolahan fear

Wes Hoolahan
Hoolahan has scored 16 goals in 81 league games for City

The level of expectancy surrounding midfielder Wes Hoolahan is too high, says Norwich City boss Paul Lambert.

The 28-year-old was dropped for the first time in the league this term for Saturday's victory over Middlesbrough.

Lambert told BBC Radio Norfolk: "Everyone keeps looking to him to perform week-in, week-out and it's tough. Maybe I do that myself.

"Every time he gets the ball you think he's going to create something which is unfair on him."

The Irishman's ability to create openings for team-mates was integral to City's title-winning season in League One last term.

And after a brace against Leicester in September followed by another goal-scoring appearance at Bristol City it seemed the return to the Championship was suiting the former Blackpool man.

When it becomes detrimental to one of my players I'm the one that's got to pick my lad up

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert

But, after a home defeat by Crystal Palace, Lambert opted to leave out Hoolahan, and fellow midfielder Korey Smith, for the Boro clash, which the Canaries won 1-0.

"Being destructive is easy, being creative is a very hard thing to do," Lambert added.

"Hoolahan's got creativity in abundance and I think he just needed a little break from it but he's in the reckoning for tomorrow [Cardiff on Saturday]."

Rumours in the press this week had suggested City were lining up Exeter's Ryan Harley as a direct replacement for Hoolahan, who arrived at Carrow Road from the Seasiders for £250,000 in 2008.

City were quick to deny the reports and Lambert has expressed his frustration with the situation.

"When it becomes detrimental to one of my players I'm the one that's got to pick my lad up," he said.

"You have to have a relationship with people in the media, but not when it becomes something like that."

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