Nelson Oliveira can lead from the front at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Just watch Nelson Oliveira go, says Alex Neil, after an eye-catching Norwich City debut for the Canaries' new striker.
Oliveira set-up Steven Naismith for City's opener in their EFL Cup 2-0 win at Everton during a vibrant 45-minute cameo following his summer move from Benfica. Neil is now ready to unleash the 25-year-old on the Championship after a special fitness programme to ensure the Portuguese international can hit can ground running.
'We have got Cameron Jerome, who is power and pace and quick and strong, and Nelson gives us another option,' said Neil. 'The plan was to give him 45 minutes. We just didn't want to tempt that extra five or ten minutes because we have spent a lot of time getting him ready. I got what I thought I would get from Nelson. His link up play is very good, he is strong, he can take the ball in and his work rate was good as well. That was nice to watch how hard he worked for the team. He'll look after the ball.'
Oliveira was one of 10 changes from the weekend's 2-1 Championship win at Nottingham Forest and Neil admits he has plenty to ponder for Burton's visit to Carrow Road.
'It just makes my job doubly difficult now come this Saturday,' he said. 'I had seven internationals in that line up (at Everton), they have proven pedigree and they applied themselves them well. The whole squad will be buzzing now. We had the other lads coming off the back of that Forest win and now the team who played at Everton feel the same after a fantastic job.'
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Alex Tettey remains a major injury doubt for the Brewers' visit with a hip problem but Louis Thompson and Youssouf Mulumbu pressed their claims on Merseyside.
'It is a disciplined job and sometimes it is in not easy because you go for long periods without seeing the ball. I thought the two of them stuck to their task well,' said Neil. 'With Al it is really just by the day. He is improving but we don't have a definite time period.'
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City go into Saturday's latest league test against the Brewers two points behind current leaders Huddersfield.
'We need to get the points on the board because the last time, when I came in, we had a lot of chasing to do and we did it extremely well and still didn't manage to catch up,' said Neil. 'We need to make sure at Christmas time we are in and around there because for me it is the second part of the season that determines where you go.'