Alex Pritchard answers the Brighton boo boys for Norwich chief Alan Irvine

Alex Pritchard was a key figure in Norwich City's 2-0 Championship win over Brighton on Friday. Pict

Alex Pritchard was a key figure in Norwich City's 2-0 Championship win over Brighton on Friday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Pritchard will have lapped up the bile from the Brighton boo boys, insisted interim Norwich City boss Alan Irvine.

Alan Irvine had the final word with Chris Hughton. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alan Irvine had the final word with Chris Hughton. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Pritchard's two long range first half shots cannoned off the woodwork, before striking luckless Seagulls' keeper David Stockdale, to seal a strange 2-0 Championship win over Chris Hughton's newly-promoted visitors on Friday night.

The 23-year-old could well have been lining up in the Brighton ranks, if he had not snubbed the south-coast club last summer prior to moving to Norfolk.

Albion's travelling support clearly had long memories as they taunted Pritchard by reminding him of their hard-won Premier League status, but the influential midfielder delivered his riposte on the park.

'Getting stick from the opposition fans is never a problem. When you get it from the home fans it is when it's a problem. He played very well. He enjoyed it,' said Irvine. 'I thought we controlled the game most of the time. We defended well when we were out of possession and we passed the ball well for most of the game.

'Maybe in the second half we were a bit wasteful in terms of some of the passing when we got into that final third but overall it was a very good performance.

'I have just been told we didn't have an actual shot on target.

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'That doesn't happen very often. I am surprised at that, for all I have just said, I thought we would have hit the target. Some people will say hitting the frame of the goal is hitting the target.'

Irvine hailed City's collective resolve, which has been lacking too often this season in the second tier.

'We had to defend a lot of crosses. They are good at that, they have various players who can manipulate enough space to get balls into the box,' he said. 'That was one of the things we spoke about, an area we would have to be good, and I felt we were. They didn't win much in our box. Our positioning was very good and we had a real determination to make sure it was us who had the first contact. We got plenty of players around those competing for headers. I felt we did our defensive job really well today, from the front back.

'We had Nelson Oliveira tracking back to deal with Bruno at times, and you have to do that side of it. You have a defensive shape but it doesn't have to be the same players in those positions, especially if you want lads to make runs beyond the ball. We Mitchell Dijks bombing on and Alex Pritchard at left back at times. That was really pleasing. We had long periods when we controlled the ball.'

Oliveira for Cameron Jerome was the only change to the Norwich line up from the Easter Monday win at Preston.

'Sometimes when you are that lone striker there is a heavy demand on you physically. I always had it in my mind I would make that change for this game,' said Irvine. 'I felt the way they play, somebody who is better with their back to goal could be the way to go. Cameron can run in behind probably better than Nelson but he is not as effective going the other way and having players link off him.

'Physically, that was the one change I wanted to make. I thought before Preston I would make even more changes but I couldn't because the performance of players who I may have considered changing was too good at Preston. I said on Thursday it is a nice problem to have when you are selecting a team who are playing well.'