Alex Neil demands high standards from Norwich City after Gorleston cruise

Norwich manager Alex Neil was pleased with his side's work-out at Gorleston. Picture by Paul Chester

Norwich manager Alex Neil was pleased with his side's work-out at Gorleston. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It tells you much about Alex Neil's mindset and by definition his Norwich City that in the midst of an early goal barrage at Gorleston the Canaries' chief was demanding even more from his Premier League side.

City had cruised into a four-goal lead, with Cameron Jerome completing a swift hat-trick and Tony Andreu opening his Norwich account after following Neil south from Hamilton, but the manager was clearly unhappy at City's sloppiness in possession.

Gorleston were brave and committed but the gulf in fitness and guile was evident in front of a record 2,415 crowd at Emerald Park.

Neil opted to name two completely different line-ups for each half and although John Ruddy's crew scored the bulk of City's seven prior to the break, the visitors' second-half personnel struck the woodwork three times and were denied by George Macrae's instinctive point blank stop to foil Lewis Grabban.

The Scot cut a satisfied figure at the end.

'It is important we came here and put on a bit of show and get the guys working hard and playing in the manner I want when we play any game,' said Neil.

'You could see that in both halves. I think everybody had a good day all round. I was really pleased because I thought it was a competitive game. They gave their all and we worked really hard. I thought we showed some good quality at times. If you ask me what I want from pre-season when you are involved in football to say you don't care whether you win, lose or draw is never going to be true.

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'I want to win every game. First and foremost, however, it is about fitness and then not picking up injuries and making sure you go about your job in the right way.'

City supporters got a first look at Swindon recruit Louis Thompson, who was joined in the first half select by his ex-Robins' team-mate Harry Toffolo, operating at full-back with Martin Olsson on the comeback trail from shoulder surgery.

Thompson looked confident alongside Graham Dorrans, who was afforded copious time and space to release the likes of Jerome and Andreu from a deeper-lying midfield role.

Seb Bassong and Michael Turner were reunited at the back after the interval as Neil showcased the full depth of his resources with the club's rump of international players not considered for the opening hit of the summer.

'Everyone has been working hard, they are in good shape in pre-season and you could see that here,' he said. 'I think the club is on a high in general. You can see already how desperate the lads are to be in the team for that first game against Crystal Palace. They have been working really hard and I expect them to be ready. You do miss it when you have a break over the summer so it is nice to come back, but I think after what we did last year it was important the players went away and refreshed.'

• Norwich City Ladies matched that 7-0 win against Gorleston in the game that followed at Emerald Park. Paige Shorten (2), Ebony Wiseman, Ellen Fawkes, Ellen Swift, Tash Snelling and Shannon Greenway found the net.

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