Jonny Howson’s hammer the pick of the bunch for Alex Neil in Norwich City’s five star win over Nottingham Forest

Jonny Howson volleyed a superb opener against Nottingham Forest. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Im

Jonny Howson volleyed a superb opener against Nottingham Forest. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil singled out Jonny Howson's sublime volley as the pick of the bunch in Norwich City's emphatic 5-1 Championship win over 10-man Nottingham Forest.

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Howson had stiff competition from Wes Hoolahan and Alex Pritchard at Carrow Road, with Josh Murphy also finishing a flowing team move. Ross McCormack replied for the visitors who had Eric Lichaj sent off and keeper Stephen Henderson stretchered off with a suspected Achilles injury.

Henderson suffered his injury in a desperate attempt to claw out Hoolahan's wonderful long range volley in a three-goal barrage during eight first half minutes.

'It is like trying to choose between your children,' said Neil. 'You have Alex, Wes and Jonny in there. They are all highly thought of. It is a tough one. If I had to be really forced into a corner I think because Jonny hit his first time and it is on the volley I would go for that one.

'I am delighted. We scored five, created numerous chances and we could have scored seven, eight, nine, ten. We carried a real threat at the top end of the pitch. We knew it was going to be a real footballing type of game, hence why Alex Pritchard, Wes Hoolahan and Nelson Oliveira were all in the team. They did exactly what I hoped and expected, which was to create havoc going forward. In the main we were relatively strong and dealt with what they offered defensively.

'The first 30 minutes was special. The injury to the keeper looked a serious one and we wish him all the best but that took the sting out of the game. From that point to half-time the game died a little bit and once we got the fourth we picked the tempo up again. In spells it was very, very good.'

Neil praised Pritchard's display who notched a brace following on from his two assists in the midweek point at Wigan.

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'I wasn't surprised. That is why I went for that set up,' he said. 'I have played Wes and Alex together before but it was against the likes of Leeds and Brighton and it was probably my fault because that type of game didn't suit them. But this one did. What you are hoping is they do it against those sides in the longer term but when they are just trying to gel and put them in against combative teams who are physically strong it is harder to do.'