Norwich City prospect Alex Pritchard has more to give

Alex Pritchard made his mark in Norwich City's 2-0 EFL Cup win at Everton. Picture by Paul Chesterto

Alex Pritchard made his mark in Norwich City's 2-0 EFL Cup win at Everton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil is setting the bar high for Norwich City's big-money summer signing Alex Pritchard.

The Canaries' highly-rated midfielder made his first senior start for the club since leaving Tottenham Hotspur in the midweek 2-0 EFL Cup win at Everton. Pritchard triggered the move that led to Steven Naismith's opener at Goodison Park but has had to settle for a bit-part role in the Championship promotion push after suffering a muscle injury on the opening weekend.

'I still think we have got a bit of work to do with him off the ball. He is probably not at the level I want him to be working off the ball but he certainly has something to add going forward,' said Neil.

'It is about how quickly he can take the other side of it. He can play as a 10 and an outside left and when I spoke to him about bringing him here those are the two areas he indicated he would like to play because I think he feels he can come in off the line and drift and in the 10 role he has that freedom to link off the front. The ugly side of the game is probably not his strength but that is a vital part of what I want.'

Pritchard's return to fitness helped sway Neil's decision to allow James Maddison to join Aberdeen on loan until January. The former Coventry City starlet has already impressed at Pittordie and helped the Dons reach the Scottish League Cup semi-final on Thursday.

'James is a really good talent. He will become a really good player for this club, but I think it was important for him that he continued his development,' said the City chief. 'I didn't want to keep him here with Wes in the form he is in at the minute, and also the likes of Alex so it was going to be difficult for game-time. We sat down, had a chat, and felt it was best for him to get games and he was eager to go to Aberdeen. He has started well.

'We'll see what happens come January. It depends on how he is doing and how we are doing, but you can never have a shortage of good players.'

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