Norwich City boss Alex Neil still on the hunt for frontmen despite 10-goal cruise against Hitchin

Norwich City manager Alex Neil and first team coach Gary Holt during the pre-season friendly at Hitc

Norwich City manager Alex Neil and first team coach Gary Holt during the pre-season friendly at Hitchin. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City smashed 10 goals past plucky Hitchin on Tuesday night in their latest pre-season stroll – but Alex Neil is still in the market for fresh firepower.

Tony Andreu grabbed a hat-trick and Cameron Jerome made it five goals in two friendlies with Gary Hooper, Wes Hoolahan, Gary O'Neil (two) and Steven Whittaker on target, but City continue to be linked with the likes of Dwight Gayle and Patrick Bamford ahead of the Premier League kick-off.

Neil confirmed after watching his side's goal rush he had pulled the plug on a proposed deal for Celta Vigo striker Joaquin Larrivey after the Argentine travelled to England prior to last weekend.

'Yes, he came over, I met him and decided it wasn't for us. Simple as that,' said Neil. 'His decision, based on him not joining us, had no bearing on any other strikers we might be looking at. I just decided not to pursue it.

'We're trying our best and doing all we can. A lot of it isn't in our hands. We just need to bide our time, work hard and hopefully we can get a few across the line soon. There are names flying about everywhere in relation to us and who we are looking at, but you won't hear anything from us until it is done.'

Jonny Howson, Vadis Odjidja and Lewis Grabban missed the trip to Top Field as a precaution.

'Vadis just felt something with a tight thigh and with his injury history last year we didn't want to take any risks in case he breaks down because that would be a catastrophe for him,' said Neil. 'Jonny Howson just wasn't feeling very well and Lewis Grabban we just need to monitor his load at times. That was the only reason he wasn't involved.

Most Read

'You can find players work really hard for three or four weeks and then pick up an injury and all that work goes to waste. We just want to make sure that doesn't happen.'

Hitchin were over-powered in the second half after City led 2-0 at the interval.

'It was a good test for us,' said Neil. 'Hitchin played a five in the first half so we had to try and break that down. The boys applied themselves really well and then I thought the second half lads were fantastic. They changed their shape and were a bit more open and obviously our quality came through and that was really good. The most important thing is not to pick up any injuries and the lads worked extremely hard. That is key.

'It's not about scoring 10 goals, I thought our quality was fantastic but we know we have to step up a level with the opposition we are going to be facing soon in pre-season. To be fair to them I felt they dug in and made it as difficult as they could early on but our full-time fitness was going to tell.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter